16 October 2014 19:33
Mauricio Pochettino says confidence is high at Tottenham as they head to Manchester City hoping to atone for two humbling defeats last term.
Under the stewardship of Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood, Tottenham conceded 11 goals in their meetings with City during the 2013-14 Premier League season, following up a 6-0 away defeat in November with a 5-1 loss on home soil two months later.
However, Pochettino believes his team can build on a 1-0 victory over Southampton prior to the international break, which ended a run of four top-flight matches without a win for Tottenham, when they visit the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The Argentinian said: “We arrive in a good moment. After our victory against Southampton we need to keep the momentum, to reproduce the same actions and to try to get the three points.
“It’s not important now to think in the past. It’s important to look forward. I don’t have any concerns about these results [in last season’s matches against City].”
Tottenham, who sit sixth in the table, are set to make late checks on Hugo Lloris (thigh) and Nacer Chadli (hip) after they pulled out of respective Euro 2016 qualifiers for France and Belgium earlier this week.
Former City striker Emmanuel Adebayor and Nabil Bentaleb are due to return from international duty on Friday, while Kyle Naughton (ankle) and Kyle Walker (pelvis) remain sidelined.
Typically strong at home in recent years, champions City have dropped points in two of their opening three league matches at the Etihad this season.
A 3-1 victory over Liverpool represented a productive first home outing for Manuel Pellegrini’s men, but a shock 1-0 defeat to Stoke City followed and leaders Chelsea also came close to taking home three points on September 21 before Frank Lampard rescued a 1-1 draw against his former club.
Lampard is relishing the prospect of facing Tottenham, having represented two of their London rivals in Chelsea and West Ham.
“I’ve done alright against Spurs over the years and playing them was always a big game at Chelsea,” the veteran midfielder told City’s official website.
“Even when I was at West Ham, Tottenham were big rivals so I’ve always seen it is a big game and something to mark on the calendar and that doesn’t change now I’m at City.
“I think they’ll be up and around the top six this season.
“They may go through a slight transitional period but I was very impressed with their manager when he was at Southampton and if he can bring the same imprint on Tottenham, who arguably have more quality within their squad, they’ll do really well.”
Second-placed City are set to be without Samir Nasri (groin) once again, while Fernandinho did not join up with Brazil after picking up a hamstring problem against Aston Villa last time out, putting his participation in doubt.