Saturday December 16 2017

Pep on a mission to rewrite history

Man on a mission. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester

Man on a mission. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will aim to win a 19th straight victory against Crystal Palace. PHOTO BY AFP 


Pep Guardiola’s hunger to make history with Manchester City remains undiminished after his side became the first in the history of the English top flight to win 15 successive games.
City reached the milestone with a ruthless 4-0 victory at Swansea City on Wednesday, which preserved their massive 11-point lead at the Premier League summit.
They will face a sterner test on Saturday at home to a resurgent Tottenham Hotspur, but Guardiola is relishing the prospect of facing a rival team whose approach to the game chimes with his own.
“Tottenham, with Chelsea, is the best team in the way to play football,” Guardiola said.
“They don’t expect the other ones (to take the initiative) -- they want to make their own game. It is another amazing test for us.
“It is every three days. After Tottenham it is Leicester in the Carabao Cup, so there is not too much time to recover.
“But we are ready to face them and try to keep that level we have shown in the last period.”
City’s win at Swansea made them the first team in the history of English league football to have won 15 games in a row and they now have new milestones in sight.
Beat Spurs at the Etihad Stadium and Guardiola will match his longest run of successive league wins with the great Barcelona team he led to a La Liga and Champions League double in 2010-11.
He would then be just three wins off the overall record for Europe’s top five leagues, which he also set -- a 19-game winning streak with Bayern Munich in 2013-14.
City’s relentless form, and the spellbinding quality of their football, has led some observers to suggest they could be the finest team England has ever seen. But far from dreading the trip to the Etihad, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino will savour it.
After four league games without a win, Spurs have won on their last two outings, crushing Stoke City 5-1 and beating Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0.
Victory over Brighton on Wednesday took Spurs back into the top four and Pochettino says he and his players will travel to the northwest in buoyant mood.
“We’re going to Manchester thinking we can win,” said the Argentinian, whose team came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at City last season.

Leicester vs. Palace (SS3, 3.45PM)
Arsenal vs. Newcastle (SS5, 6PM)
Brighton vs. Burnley (SS12, 6PM))
Chelsea vs. Southampton (SS3, 6PM))
Stoke vs. West Ham (SS6, 6.00PM)
Watford vs. Huddersfield (SS11, 6PM)
Man City vs. Tottenham (SS3, 8.30PM)