Everyone can beat everyone: Sagna

Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer says Spurs’ fine run has given them confidence but his side are wary of a backlash from City, who were well beaten at Leicester and have their work cut out to renew their title push.
Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer says Spurs’ fine run has given them confidence but his side are wary of a backlash from City, who were well beaten at Leicester and have their work cut out to renew their title push. PHOTO: REUTERS

He says topsy-turvy league means City must beat Spurs as they bid to revive title charge

LONDON • Bacary Sagna believes that the unpredictable nature of the Premier League this season means it is essential for Manchester City to beat second-placed Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow to keep their title aspirations alive.

Saturday's 1-3 loss to leaders Leicester City left Manuel Pellegrini's team without a win over any of the top-six sides this season and six points behind the Foxes with 13 games remaining.

City, who are fourth, head into tomorrow's clash knowing a win would lift them above Spurs.

"It is essential we beat Tottenham like it will be essential for us to beat other teams in the future," City right-back Sagna told Sky Sports.

"If you want to be the champion you have to beat everyone because it's a strange league this year.

"Back in the day, whenever you were playing a lower team on paper, you could be quite confident. Nowadays everyone can beat everyone, so we don't have an excuse."

City will have to work if they are to avenge their humiliating 4-1 defeat by Mauricio Pochettino's men earlier in the season.

  • -10km

    The distance Manchester City were outrun by in their 4- 1 thrashing by Tottenham at White Hart Lane in September

Tottenham outran City by a combined distance of almost 10km in that encounter, with Dele Alli alone running 13.2km and Harry Kane covering 12km, reported Sky Sports.

Spurs also made more tackles and interceptions back in September and are ready to put in another hard-working shift after a morale-boosting run of six straight wins in all competitions.

Tottenham centre-back Kevin Wimmer told the Evening Standard: "We're also one of the best teams in the league so there is no team we should be worried about because we know what we can do and we're in a very good mood at the moment.

"It's not that bad that they lost against Leicester. Now they have big pressure, they are behind us, they know they have to win. It's not going to be easy for them."

The difference between winning and losing could lie in the battle between the 23-year-old Austrian and City striker Sergio Aguero.

Wimmer has yet to concede a goal - much less taste defeat - in the league since deputising for the injured Jan Vertonghen, while Aguero enjoys playing Tottenham, notching up 10 goals in eight games against the North London side.

"Aguero is one of the best strikers in the world and we will try not to give him space," added Wimmer, who has forged a defensive partnership with Belgian Toby Alderweireld.

City have been boosted by news that they too could have a Belgium international in central defence.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini told a press conference yesterday that captain Vincent Kompany - restricted to just nine of the last 1,800 minutes in City's season after injury in November and again on Boxing Day - is fit again. Playmaker David Silva is also available.

"Vincent is working the last three weeks without any problems," the Chilean revealed. "He played 45 minutes in a friendly with the Under-21s so I think that he is ready now to play."

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2016, with the headline 'Everyone can beat everyone: Sagna'. Print Edition | Subscribe