Ange Postecoglou insists Tottenham won’t ‘roll out red carpet’ for Man City despite potentially helping Arsenal

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou insists his side will try to beat Man City, even though that result would hand Arsenal the initiative in the Premier League title race; watch Tottenham vs Man City live on Sky Sports from 7pm on Tuesday; kick-off 8pm

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Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou discusses the fans’ opinions heading into their clash with Manchester City, as a victory for Spurs would near enough seal Arsenal’s title hopes

Ange Postecoglou doesn’t buy into the theory that Tottenham fans will want to lose against Man City and insists Spurs won’t “roll out the red carpet” for the reigning Premier League champions – even if the result boosts Arsenal’s title chances.

Arsenal returned to the top of the league with a 1-0 win at Manchester United on Sunday to ensure the Premier League title race will go down to the final day. But Man City, currently a point behind the Gunners, will reclaim top spot if they win their game in hand at Spurs on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports.

It means Arsenal must now hope their north London rivals do them a favour by getting a result at home to Man City to put them on course for a first Premier League title in two decades.

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Following Aston Villa’s 3-3 home draw against Liverpool on Monday, fifth-placed Spurs still have hope of Champions League qualification.

Ange Postecoglou’s must win both of their remaining games against City and Sheffield United away, and hope Villa lose at Crystal Palace on the final day to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Postecoglou says he would not be able to understand Tottenham fans wanting their side to lose to Manchester City on Tuesday.

“You think the majority of our fans are not going to want us to win? I don’t see it that way. I think the majority of our fans will create the atmosphere they always create at our games,” the Spurs boss said.

“We’ve got a game of football to win and that’s what we’ll try to do. Man City haven’t won it yet and if you think they have, then it becomes an issue because we’re rolling out a red carpet for them and I’m not going to do that.

“I’m not just going to sit there and watch them win. That doesn’t sit comfortably with me.”

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Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson questioned whether Tottenham could defeat the Gunners’ title rivals Manchester City and joked he’d get a Spurs tattoo if they do manage to beat them!

Pressed on whether a proportion of fans want to lose to stop Arsenal from winning the league, Postecoglou replied: “A proportion of our fans? What does that mean?

“What proportion? 50 per cent? 20 per cent? One per cent?

“That’s fine, people are allowed to feel the way they do.

“But I think I’ve been consistent and really strong in my beliefs that it’s important for this football club not to look for silver bullets to get to where we want to, it’s hard work, it’s resilience, it’s quality, not to fall for any false dawns – and know what real success looks like: trophies.

“Anything else in between, bragging rights, whatever it is, is absolutely meaningless to me or anyone involved with me. We’ve got a game we want to win.”

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Arsenal forward Kai Havertz says he’ll be the biggest fan of Tottenham ever on Tuesday night

Ange: Spurs want to emulate Man City one day

Manchester City have never won a Premier League game at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, raising Arsenal’s hopes that Spurs can help them.

But Pep Guardiola’s side won at Tottenham in the FA Cup fourth round in January and are on a 21-game unbeaten Premier League run.

“My recent home record against them is one game, one loss,” Postecoglou said.

“So I’m not going to take any confidence from that. What I’ll take confidence from is we’ve got an opportunity to measure ourselves against the best.

“A team that has consistently strived for honours. We want to emulate them one day and the best way to do that is to test yourself against them. We’ll play our football and see where it takes us.

“Any time you’re going to play them, particularly at the end of a season when they always seem to be at their best, it’s a hell of a challenge.

“It’s always going to be a win but that’s the exciting bit.”

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Pep: We won’t win Premier League if we don’t beat Spurs

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says his side are well prepared mentally and physically ahead of their trip to Tottenham – a place they have not won at since 2018

Pep Guardiola insists winning is City’s only option at Tottenham.

A comparison of the two clubs’ recent form – City have won seven in a row and not lost in the league since early December while Spurs’ victory over Burnley on Saturday was their first in five outings – seemingly points to only one outcome.

But Guardiola said the game was not without jeopardy.

“It’s obvious. We have just one option: win the game. We travel for that,” he said.

“I felt from what happened in the past with the way we were playing against Liverpool (in their epic title races) I said ‘Either we win, win, win or it will be over’.

“I had the feeling to beat Arsenal is so difficult because they make very good things in all departments and are difficult to beat so if we have the chance for it to depend on us we have to use it.

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Noel Gallagher doesn’t get involved with his side’s famous Poznan celebration, but certainly seemed to be enjoying Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Fulham.

“I have a theory as a manager that what we did yesterday is over. The mindset is easy because if we don’t win, we don’t win the Premier League. We have the last chance away to give the chance at home (against West Ham on the final day).”

Guardiola brushed off their previous problems at the Tottenham stadium and stressed the chance to make history would not make things any more difficult for his side, considering the experience they have garnered from three successive title wins and being pushed to the line by Liverpool a couple of times previously.

“Many times we have played really good and not been able to score and win the games,” he added.

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Sky Sports’ Ron Walker and Ben Ransom analyse Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Fulham to go top of the Premier League.

“You have to do something special, exceptional, and it has never happened in the Premier League we have to do it this time.

“Now is the time to do it otherwise Arsenal will be champions. The right tension and focus has to be there. If we play these games relaxed, it’s a big problem.”

Winger Jack Grealish has returned from illness while defender Nathan Ake, whose foot is not serious according to Guardiola, will be tested in training to see whether he is fit enough to return.

Bissouma and Richarlison ruled out for Spurs

Tottenham will be without midfielder Yves Bissouma for Tuesday’s fixture due to a knee injury. Bissouma has been ruled out of Spurs’ last two matches and joins forward Richarlison (calf) on the treatment table.

“He’ll miss the next two games. Nothing serious,” Postecoglou said of Richarlison, who sustained an issue in the last action of Friday’s training session.

“Bissouma unfortunately picked up a knee injury so he’ll miss the last two games. Other than that everyone who was available is available.”

Fraser Forster (foot), Destiny Udogie (thigh), Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring), Ben Davies (calf), Manor Solomon (knee) and Timo Werner (hamstring) remain sidelined.

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