football

Man City vs Tottenham: Ange Postecoglou says his team will stick to attacking principles at Etihad

Ange Postecoglou has promised his Tottenham team will stick to their attack-minded plan at Man City on Super Sunday.

A defeat against the champions would be a fourth straight Premier League loss for Spurs - something that has not happened for 19 years. After the early excitement surrounding the Postecoglou appointment, a spate of injuries and losses against Chelsea, Wolves and Aston Villa have dampened enthusiasm slightly about their prospects this season.

James Maddison, Micky van de Ven, Rodrigo Bentancur, Pape Sarr and Richarlison will all be sidelined while Sergio Romero completes a three-game ban.

It does not get more daunting than a trip to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City, who have only lost only one of their last 48 home games in all competitions. Despite the challenge, Postecoglou is approaching the game with his usual gusto, hinting he will not be tweaking his attack-minded style.

Asked if whether it will be a brilliant game, Postecoglou said: "I hope so, that's what we want. We was disappointed against Villa but we still could have scored five or six. I'd rather take that then the game against Wolves where if I was a supported I'd be walking away saying it wasn't a great game of football.

"It's why I relish these types of games as you can test yourself and you may not come out on top but you're going to have a crack at it for sure."

He added: "I look at the top teams and there is one common trait, they invest in a plan and stick to it. They don't shy away from the plan at the first difficult thing, whether it's Liverpool, Arsenal - they stick to the plan. You have to. Whatever you strongly believe in only gets tested in tough times - it doesn't get tested when things are going well.

"These are the important times as it will show what kind of football team we're going to be. You can shy away as we've got injuries and are playing Man City away but you're either a club that tries to knock off the big clubs or you're a big club. You are one or the other. My hope is to make this a big club - and to do that you need to be successful.

"You have to win things. And to win things you need to have a plan and stick to it and believe in it. In tough times when you get scrutinised and people will ask questions which is fair enough, that's what needs to happen. It's no good if people keep telling you how brilliant you are. That's not a good way to live your life.

"The best way to keep challenging yourself is by people challenging you. You have to be prepared for that and show some backbone. I'm not going there to say 'watch me, I'm going to take this on' - I'm going there because that's the way forward for us."

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is relishing the encounter as the two managers meet in a competitive game for the first time.

Guardiola said: "He's done in the past in Japan and of course in Glasgow with Celtic and now. I think he makes football a better place, people like Ange.

"And as a manager, I enjoy a lot watching his team's approach, and all the sports fans and the people in England can admit the impact has been quick and really, really good.

"They [Tottenham] are always there, even the games they did not win lately, I've been impressed with many things they do, how many chances they create and how aggressive they are in all departments.

"He [Ange Postecoglou] came here and in the space of just a few months, you can recognise perfectly his team.

"I encourage our fans to come to the stadium on Sunday as it will be fun!

"If they [Spurs] drop the way they play in the games they lost? No. It was quite similar when they were winnings. But without Maddison or Romero is different. Our job depends on the players, but if you ask me if they drop something or adapt or adjust? No."

Ange Postecoglou's uncompromising philosophy is making people skittish with Spurs on a three-game losing run, here the story behind Angeball is explored with help from those that know him.

Tottenham are heavily odds-on to lose a fourth straight Premier League match for the first time in 19 years. Surely the manager must go. Bring Jose back. Or Antonio. This would never happen on their watch. Who wants fun anyway.

Joshing aside, Spurs could be gobbled up here by a damaging scoreline but from a punting perspective I'm all for following them to contribute towards what's likely to be a very high goals total. Tottenham to score two or more at 11/4 with Sky Bet stands out.

As Chelsea showed in the 4-4 draw with City, if you can take the game into chaotic mode then City can be vulnerable through their midfield where Rodri is being overworked. Spurs thrive on chaos and they top the charts in the Premier League for shots from open play and fast breaks this season (164).

Dejan Kulusevski also remains overpriced to score at 13/2. He has scored in both of Spurs' last trips to the Etihad Stadium and is getting into some dangerous scoring positions of late, notching against Chelsea and hitting the post in the 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa.