Danny Rose says Tottenham are relishing the opportunity to end Manchester City’s winning run on Saturday – just as they did when they beat Pep Guardiola’s side and Chelsea last season.
Man City won their first six Premier League matches in the summer of 2016 but then suffered a 2-0 defeat against Spurs at White Hart Lane.
After that, Chelsea embarked on a 13-match winning sequence in the top flight – but they too were halted by Tottenham and lost 2-0 at the Lane.
Now City have emerged triumphant in their last 15 matches – a Premier League record – with Guardiola’s team collecting 49 points from a possible 51 this term.
It leaves Spurs in the unusual position of being underdogs as they gear up for Saturday’s trip to the Etihad Stadium.
But Rose has denied suggestions that the match is essentially a free hit, with the pressure off.
And, given the Lilywhites won 2-1 at City in February 2016 before securing a 2-2 draw there last term, he expects the visitors to cause the runaway leaders problems.
“We’ll go there and relish it,” said Rose. “They’re in good form. At the minute they do look very frightening – they’re scoring goals and they kept a clean sheet last night (in a 4-0 win at Swansea).
“But we’ve done alright there in the past couple of seasons and that should give us some confidence going there at the weekend.
“We were the first ones to beat City last season, and we disrupted Chelsea’s unbeaten run. It’s a challenge we all look forward to. It’s a challenge the manager looks forward to. In these games, he knows he’s going to get 100 per cent from everyone.
“There’s going to be a lot of eyes watching us this weekend. We haven’t done so well away from home against the top teams this season but we hope to go there with some confidence and keep pushing on after the three wins we’ve had over the last week.
“There’s pressure on us from ourselves and the manager. He demands the best from us in every game, so I wouldn’t like to think that any of us are thinking there’s no pressure on us at the weekend.
“We know our standards and whenever we slip from those standards the manager lets us know. So I say there is pressure on us, and we look forward to going there and being the first team to beat them this season, as we did last season.”
Tottenham have hosted two defensive teams at Wembley in the last week, with Stoke and Brighton both arriving in north-west London and playing for a draw.
While Spurs thumped Stoke 5-1 on Saturday, Wednesday’s meeting with Chris Hughton’s Seagulls was a more frustrating affair and it took a fluke from Serge Aurier, followed by an 87th-minute Heung-Min Son header, to grind out a 2-0 home win.
It may therefore be something of a relief to now face a City side who will attack and open themselves up, even if the leaders have ominously scored 52 goals in their 17 league games this term.
“Last night just wasn’t a nice game,” said Rose. “When teams come here to Wembley they get in shape and make it really difficult for us.
“With the offensive players we’ve got, when teams try to come and play against us it suits us better, and we’ll be looking forward to watching our offensive players getting right up against City and causing them problems.”
Spurs are set to face their former full-back Kyle Walker this weekend, five months after he departed to join City in a £50million deal.
The England man will surely be pleased with his decision as it stands, with his new club having an 11-point lead at the top of the table.
But Rose said: “There’s no envy. He fully deserved his move. Over the last two to three years he’s been the best right-back in the league. His assists and performances prove that.
“He’s got what he deserves and I wish him the best of luck in every game that he plays, apart from when he plays against us.
“Of course it will be nice to see him and play against him if I’m selected. But he’s the enemy this weekend and there’ll be no pleasantries until after the game.”
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