Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Holtby Insists Spurs Can Find City's Limits

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Holtby Insists Spurs Can Find City's Limits

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Football Correspondent

IF YOU gave a team the chance to choose their opponents for a decisive match, you would be hardpressed to find any who would name Manchester City.

The reigning champions are playing some of their best football of the season and while it is probably too late for them to stop Manchester United regaining the Premier League title, City are ending the season powerfully.

As they prepare to face Roberto Mancini's team, Tottenham are, however, in a more fragile condition. They have won just one of their last seven matches and although Spurs still have an excellent chance of claiming a place in next season's Champions League, their form needs to improve sharply if this is to happen.

Much depends on the fitness of players such as Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe and -- above all -- Gareth Bale, all of whom are set to return on Sunday after recovering from injury.

Even if he does not feel at his best following his ankle ligament injury, Bale has the attacking weapons to scare any team and his presence can create space for team-mates as defenders do their utmost to shut out the Welshman.

The problem for Spurs is that while they rely heavily on Bale, City have a number of players who can do serious damage. Yet Lewis Holtby believes Spurs might find life easier against a team prepared to assert themselves, rather than a counter-attacking side.

Tottenham were frustrated in recent home matches against Fulham and Everton, from which they collected a single point. Although City's squad are substantially better than those of either club, Holtby can find reasons to be optimistic ahead of their clash.

"We're a strong side and when we play at home, most teams come here with the intention of holding their defensive line, keeping it tight at the back and trying to play on the break," said the German midfielder. …

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