Manchester City-Tottenham Hotspur Preview
Perhaps a visit to White Hart Lane will provide the ideal opportunity for Manchester City to bounce back from their first Premier League loss of the season.
Manuel Pellegrini's side hope that is the case Saturday as they try to continue their recent dominance over Tottenham Hotspur.
City (5-0-1) held an 11-0 goal-advantage over their first five league contests before Victor Moses scored in the sixth minute of West Ham United's 2-1 victory at the Etihad last Saturday.
"We never believed we had won the title after just five games - we just always focus on the next game," Pellegrini told the team's official website. "It is always difficult to play against any Premier League team - everyone has very good players."
The result snapped an 11-game league winning streak for the Citizens, who outscored their opponents 29-4 during that impressive undefeated run.
"We must be more concentrated," said Pellegrini, whose club remains atop the league table by two points over city rival United.
Manchester City had little trouble concentrating Tuesday when they rebounded to rout Sunderland 4-1 in League Cup action. Sergio Aguero opened the scoring in that match with a successful penalty kick.
After recording a league-high 26 goals in 2014-15, the talented striker has just one in top-flight action this season. Aguero, though, has scored half of the 16 City's totaled while winning four straight against Spurs (2-3-1), including the lone tally in last season's 1-0 victory at The Lane.
Manchester City have won eight of the last nine meetings in the series with their only defeat during that run, 3-1 at Tottenham on April 21, 2013.
City have yet to allow a goal in their first three Premier League road matches this season. They've yielded two during a five-match league road winning streak overall.
Spurs have posted two straight 1-0 league victories over Crystal Palace and Sunderland, and are undefeated in five matches since opening with a 1-0 loss at Manchester United. However, mentally, they need to regroup after being eliminated from League Cup play with a 2-1 North London Derby loss to Arsenal on Wednesday.
"The result is most important, so we're all disappointed," manager Mauricio Pochettino told Spurs' official website. "Now we prepare for City. ... We have to be strong."
Tottenham won a season-high three straight Premier League matches twice in 2014-15.
"We didn't have a really good start to (this) season but we're coming on now and have some real good confidence," Spurs midfielder Thomas Carroll said.
Harry Kane remains confident while still searching for his first goal of the league season. The Premier League's reigning breakout star, Kane scored 21 last season but has two in his last 14 league matches and none while putting four of his 21 shots on target so far this campaign.
He's never scored against City.
While Spurs know Kane will be on the pitch this weekend, Pellegrini is unsure if captain Vincent Kompany or David Silva will be able to play in this contest. Calf injuries have kept the duo out of City's last two matches over all competition.
"We will see from now to Saturday which players can recover," Pellegrini said.