Lucas Moura says Tottenham’s return to Manchester City on Saturday will be even tougher, with the hosts “angered” by their Champions League exit.
Spurs visit the Etihad for the second time in four days in the lunchtime kick-off, live on Sky Sports, as they turn their attention back to domestic matters and the race for the top four.
Man City vs Tottenham
April 20, 2019, 11:30am
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City have even bigger issues, knowing anything but a victory could jeopardise their hopes for The Run In – and hand the initiative to Liverpool in the title race.
Having already dashed City’s quadruple hopes with an away goals victory in the Champions League on Wednesday, Moura told Sky Sports he expects Spurs to face a team smarting from that defeat and even tougher for it.
He said: “We need to go there and try to win because we need the points. We need to go there and do a good job to bring us three points, that’s our objective.
“It will be so hard, harder than on Wednesday for sure because that’s happened, it’s in the past, and they will be angry. It will be another big game, let’s go there and do our best.
“We played against one of the favourites for the Champions League on Wednesday, but I always believed in my team-mates, myself and on the pitch it’s 11 vs 11 – we need to trust ourselves, do our best and be strong mentally, that’s what we did and it’s why we won.”
Moura and his team-mates did not arrive back in London until 2am on Thursday morning following their historic win several hours earlier, and sleep has been in short supply for the Brazilian forward since then.
But he told Sky Sports there is no chance of tired Tottenham legs at the Etihad in the third meeting between these two sides in less than two weeks, with Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United right on third-place Spurs’ tails in one of the closest races for the top four in recent memory.
He told Sky Sports: “It was impossible to sleep! Sometimes I think I’m dreaming, it’s difficult to believe in this moment. You need to enjoy the time and start to think about Ajax, prepare about the next game – it will be so hard, but enjoy it, this moment too because it’s not easy to get to the semi-finals.
I can’t see anything other than a Man City win. Spurs don’t have the biggest squad in the world and the other night will have taken a lot out of them. I think both teams changing things up will still result in a City win. It’s not a matter of revenge. It’s a strange one because if you would have asked them last week, City would rather have won the Champions League and Liverpool the league. Now it could be the other way around.
Tottenham could easily rest players for this game and then just make sure they beat Brighton. With their injuries, they need to start prioritising their games now, and look at what games they will win and which they are less likely to win. It is not every day they get to a Champions League semi-final. They will rest players after such a quick turnaround.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 – see more of his predictions here
“We celebrated in the changing room, with a crazy party, and on the bus to the airport and on the plane. We got back to London about 2am. It was impossible to sleep, I think I got about four hours, but that’s football. Football gives you that feeling, that moment, only to say thank you to god because it’s a great gift.