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Premier League preview: Tottenham v Manchester City

Tottenham’s European ambitions face a stern test on Sunday when they welcome Manchester City to White Hart Lane.

Andre Villas-Boas’ side are in fifth place in the Premier League, two points behind Arsenal but with a game in hand on the Gunners.

They need to finish fourth to secure a spot in the Champions League qualifiers, and if they can manage to overhaul third-placed Chelsea by the end of the campaign, they will gain automatic entry to the competition.

Since their 2-1 win over Arsenal on March 3, Tottenham have suffered a worrying form slump, recording only one win from their past four league games and exiting the Europa League at the hands of Basel, with a 2-2 draw against the Swiss club their most recent outing.

That slump has been compounded by the loss of talismanic winger Gareth Bale to an ankle injury, and the Welshman is doubtful for the game against City.

Roberto Mancini’s team, meanwhile, are likely to relinquish the Premier League crown to Manchester United, and their title defence could officially come to an end this weekend if they are beaten in London and United defeat Aston Villa on Monday.

City are in good form for the clash, with wins over Newcastle at St James’ Park, United at Old Trafford and Chelsea at Wembley in an FA Cup semi-final before their 1-0 triumph over Wigan last time out.

The last time the two sides met, City had an 88th-minute strike from Edin Dzeko to thank for a 2-1 win at Etihad Stadium in November.

As well as Bale, Tottenham could be without Younes Kaboul (knee), William Gallas (calf) and Aaron Lennon (knee), while Sandro is definitely out with a knee problem.

City will be forced to do without David Silva because of a hamstring issue, but defenders Micah Richards and Maicon have shrugged off knee injuries to be in the mix for selection.

Fri 19 April, 2013
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