Manchester City will be look to build a lead at the top of the Premier League table when they welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening. The reverse fixture between these two was the last time the Blues suffered defeat in all competitions - back in November.
Here's what Pep Guardiola had to say when he faced the media before this one...
Dias and Rodri fit but FOUR still missing
Big injury update for you today. Pep Guadiola has confirmed Ruben Dias and Rodri are both back in training and are available for tomorrow's clash. However, the quartet of Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Agüero, Fernandinho and Nathan Aké are all still missing with their respective injuries.
Guardiola on racism
A topic which upsettingly is still needing to be talked about. Pep Guardiola was asked, particularly with some ugly comments surrounding a Swansea player in midweek, how we can eradicate racism completely from society:
"Everything comes from education but that is hard work, years, and decades. Social media is important to educate everyone, especially teenagers. Maybe Twitter should control it and ban accounts when someone is accused or something, that is disgraceful."
"I don't know where it comes from. Maybe Twitter or governments have to get involved because it is part of society and it is rising again and again."
Spurs and Jose Mourinho
That old rivalry again, eh. It seems all too often now that Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho meet in what is one of the most hotly-contested games in world football. As usual though, the Catalan was full of praise for the opposing manager:
"We're pretty much the same. It means that we have been working many years so it is good for both of us. We do the job we love and it is a good contender."
And on November's loss to Spurs:
"It's a coincidence. We lost, they were better in many aspects. Spurs quality showed more than our qualities and that is why they beat us. It is a strong team and we have to do better to beat them."
15 wins in a row
Breaking records in the process, the Blues have put themselves in a magnificent position with 15 wins in a row in all competitions. Pep Guardiola however, isn't getting ahead of himself,
"We are not [unbeatable]. 15 games in a row winning doesn't help us to start 2-0 up before the start of the game. I said many times it is nice and helps us to be where we are in the Carabao Cup, FA Cup, Champions League and especially the Premier League. But no more than that."
"We have to start again tomorrow. It is an important week with three strong teams and this is the target. Try in this time to recover, see who the opponents are, what they have done in the game where we played there, what we have to do."
"It’s nice. Bayern and Barcelona we also made good runs. It's a consequence of things game by game. Stats are nice but stats don't help win the next one. The next one is Tottenham."
Gundogan with a well-deserved POTM
With a flawless January which included five goals in six Premier League matches, Ilkay Gundogan was awarded Premier League Player of the Month, and Pep Guardiola has gave his congratulations.
"Well deserved. I'm happy for him - a lot of goals, a lot of minutes, a lot of good actions."
Rodri improving day by day
Speaking of earning some praise. Rodri has transformed into a colossal defensive midfielder over the past six months. His settling in period is certainly over, and Pep has been speaking about how he can improve day by day:
"He adapted immediately and he's still young. There are some issues that he still has to learn and he will learn, but he is a really important player for us. A good holding midfielder is good when he plays for the other ones and not himself."
"To think about what is going on, what they have to do to correct mistakes and not play for highlights. The best holding midfielders never appear in newspapers, they hide behind the team. When the team plays good it's because they are outstanding."
How did City turn it around?
With the position they found themselves in earlier in the campaign, to turn it around in this manner is a massive credit to Pep and his players. The Catalan was asked whether he feels there was a certain point where it all clicked.
"I would not say one day. Maybe one day we'll realise we weren't good enough, or the players realise they have to do more. We started to win games and the second and third wins gave us confidence."
"We saw that we were not far away from the top, but there was not a specific issue. Everyone made an incredible contribution, the backroom staff and players, to realise we had to do better and could do better to fight for the positions in the Premier League."
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