Pep Guardiola has hailed Tottenham as the second best team in Europe.
Champions City host Spurs at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow, with boss Guardiola hailing Mauricio Pochettino’s side after reaching last season’s Champions League final.
Spurs ultimately lost 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid, but Guardiola believes reaching the final showed Pochettino’s side to up there with Europe’s elite clubs – despite the London side finishing 27 points behind the Blues in the Premier League.
Asked to rate Spurs, who dumped City out in the quarter-finals en route to the final, Guardiola said: “How good they are? My words and my opinion on them is that they are the second best team in Europe. For me that’s enough.
“Since I came here to England, every season they were a real contender.
“The first season I was here they finished second. The last two seasons they didn’t win it, but always they were tough, tough games.”
Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick in City’s 5-0 thrashing of West Ham in the opening round of Premier League fixtures, but Guardiola said he wants more from the winger.
Asked if Sterling was now the Premier League’s most in-form player, Guardiola said: “There are many and he is one.
“Look at the top six teams and you will find many, many players, incredibly good players. We have many of them here.
“I didn’t see the other games but Raheem’s playing so good from the beginning, so clinical, but we want more, everyone wants more, and it was only the first Premier League game of the season.”
Fernandinho could return for City in Saturday’s game having had an extended break due to his participation in the Copa America, while Sergio Aguero could also earn a recall having been benched for City’s opening game against West Ham.
Giovani Lo Celso could make his debut for Spurs following his first full week’s training with the club.