Harry Kane look­ing to add to his im­pres­sive goal tally

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

MANCH­ESTER CITY will be with­out Ser­gio Aguero for their Pre­mier League trip to Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur to­day as they try to get back on track af­ter three con­sec­u­tive de­feats.

City missed the chance of seal­ing the league ti­tle when they lost to Manch­ester United 3-2 at home last week, ei­ther side of de­feats by Liver­pool in the Cham­pi­ons League.

Vic­tory over in-form Spurs at Wem­b­ley and a United loss to bot­tom club West Bromwich Al­bion to­mor­row would al­low Pep Guardi­ola’s side to start cel­e­brat­ing.

But City have in­jury prob­lems, not least with lead­ing scorer Aguero out, ac­cord­ing to Guardi­ola.

“Hope­fully he will be ready for the last games and World Cup,” Guardi­ola said of the Ar­gen­tine, who was in­jured in a tackle by United’s Ash­ley Young that could have re­sulted in a penalty.

“Fer­nand­inho is sus­pended, John Stones is not ready, (Ben­jamin) Mendy is out. We have 13 or 14 play­ers for the next game plus the kids.”

The Spa­niard added that a trip to play fourth-placed Tot­ten­ham, who are un­beaten in the league since los­ing at City in mid-De­cem­ber, will be a stern test for his side.

“The league is played over a lot of games and we need five points from six games,” he said.

“The first op­tion to take points is to­mor­row, one of the tough­est games we have.

“Tot­ten­ham is a fan­tas­tic team, they have great pres­sure. They have been play­ing great with a lot of suc­cess in the last two, three sea­sons and are in the semi-fi­nal of the FA Cup.

“It is go­ing to be a dif­fi­cult game for us.”

● Pep Guardi­ola has been charged with im­proper con­duct af­ter be­ing sent to the stands in Tues­day’s 2-1 Cham­pi­ons League de­feat by Liver­pool.

Guardi­ola protested about for­ward Leroy Sane’s dis­al­lowed goal at the end of the first half in the quar­ter-fi­nal se­cond leg and was dis­missed by ref­eree An­to­nio Ma­teu La­hoz.

The Span­ish man­ager was charged for com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the team’s tech­ni­cal staff in the se­cond half ac­cord­ing to Ar­ti­cle 69(1) of Uefa’s Dis­ci­plinary Reg­u­la­tions.

Uefa also charged Liver­pool af­ter their fans set off fire­works and threw ob­jects in­side the Eti­had Sta­dium.

The case will be heard by Uefa’s Con­trol, Ethics and Dis­ci­plinary Body on May 31.

● Tot­ten­ham man­ager Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino be­lieves the race for a top-four fin­ish in the Pre­mier League is far from over and has warned his play­ers not to un­der­es­ti­mate op­po­nents in the fi­nal stretch of the sea­son.

Tot­ten­ham cur­rently oc­cupy fourth place with 67 points, 10 points ahead of near- est chal­lengers Chelsea, and the am­bi­tious Lon­don club are on course to bring Cham­pi­ons League soc­cer to their new sta­dium next sea­son.

Po­chet­tino, how­ever, said his team could not af­ford to step off the gas yet and must look to se­cure three points against mis­fir­ing lead­ers City at home to­day.

“In foot­ball, un­til you have achieved what you want, it is never over,” Po­chet­tino told a news con­fer­ence.

“I think we need to keep push­ing, win­ning games, mas­sive three points against Manch­ester City. There is still a lot of work to do un­til the end. You can­not un­der­es­ti­mate clubs like Chelsea and Arse­nal.”

Tot­ten­ham striker Harry Kane is look­ing to add to his goal tally as he chases a third straight golden boot award. The 24-year-old is on 25 league goals, four be­hind Liver­pool’s Mo­hamed Salah in the race to fin­ish as the league’s top scorer.

Kane was awarded the win­ning goal from last week­end’s 2-1 win over Stoke City fol­low­ing an ap­peal but Po­chet­tino said such de­tails did not mat­ter to him as long as the club is win­ning.

“For me, I don’t care who scores the goals. I care about the three points but it was a club de­ci­sion to ap­peal.”

● Manch­ester United can­not step off the gas fol­low­ing last week­end’s derby win over Manch­ester City and must en­sure they get the points re­quired to se­cure se­cond place, man­ager Jose Mour­inho said yes­ter­day.

United rode on a sub­lime se­cond-half per­for­mance by French mid­fielder Paul Pogba to seal a mem­o­rable 3-2 vic­tory at the Eti­had Sta­dium but Mour­inho said sub­se­quent train­ing ses­sions were spent in get­ting his play­ers to move on from that win.

“Dur­ing the week I was try­ing to fight that re­sult by work­ing hard, try­ing to make the play­ers un­der­stand that it is not enough to de­serve to fin­ish se­cond,” the Por­tuguese told a news con­fer­ence ahead of to­morow's game against West Bromwich.

“We need the points to fin­ish se­cond... ob­vi­ously to fin­ish fourth, we need four or five points, but to fin­ish se­cond we need much more than that,” Mour­inho added.

Base­ment side West Brom have 21 points from 33 games and have lost eight of their last 10 matches but Mour­inho said United had to re­main cau­tious with their op­po­nents des­per­ate to se­cure points in a bid to en­sure top-flight sur­vival.

“They still smell a chance... it’s a big chal­lenge be­cause in foot­ball they know any­thing is pos­si­ble un­til math­e­mat­i­cally it is im­pos­si­ble,” he said.

United have 71 points from 32 matches, four ahead of third- placed Liver­pool who have played one more game. – Reuters

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