Pep Guardiola spoke of his admiration for Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino, ahead of Saturday’s showdown.

City host the North Londoners at the Etihad Stadium in the day’s evening kick-off, as the league leaders entertain the side that dealt Guardiola his first Premier League defeat in the 2016/17 campaign.


The Blues boss hailed the White Hart Lane outfit, expressing his enjoyment of their style of play.


“Spurs are a top team,” he told press. “It doesn’t matter their position in the table. For me, they are still a top team.


“Results are results but I see what they do – not their position. I have a lot of respect for them and what they do.


“It is an important game. The opponent is so tough. I like the way Tottenham play and I also like the way Chelsea play. Antonio Conte has introduced something new.


“I also admire Manchester United and Burnley – they way they play and what they have done. I have a lot of respect.


“When I talk about an opponent, I speak about their qualities on the pitch and the good things they do. We have to discover how to beat them on the pitch.

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“At White Hart Lane (last season), I learned about their physicality. In that moment, I realised how tough the season and how complicated the Premier League would be.

“They attack really well down the channel and they have really good young players.


“The basis of England’s national team is Tottenham. A lot of young players grew up there so English football can be pleased with what their manager has done for the national team, making them better.


“If you let them play, Tottenham have quality between the lines with Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli. They arrive with two or three guys for crosses – Harry Kane, Alli and Son Heung-min.


“They are strong at the back. Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez are unavailable but they are physically strong. Eric Dier can play as a central defender or holding midfielder and they have a goalkeeper with experience, as well as the full-backs.


“It is a question for their manager (whether they will attack). We think in both sides – in the back and high-pressing and we are going to speak with the players because Spurs can play in many different ways with many different systems.


“They are a very good team and I like to watch them play. I think it will be a good game tomorrow, hopefully.


“Nothing is going to change for us because we are not going to win or lose the Premier League on Saturday.


“The spectators are enjoying watching us play. I want to see a full stadium on Saturday. I want our supporters to help us because we are so tired in many aspects.


“We need them against Tottenham and in the bad moments. It will be a tough game and we want to continue with three points to keep going and try to be there (at the top) as long as possible.”