Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has stated that he has a "lot of respect" for Tottenham Hotspur, as the Catalan looks to prepare his side for a 16th consecutive league victory ahead of Saturday's clash.
They are a top team
It would have been expected by that these two sides would have been closer to each other in the table at this point in the campaign considering Spurs' finish last season, but it has been City who have ran with not only the Premier League but across all fronts thus far.
It is however their league form that has particularly stood out as they currently sit 18 points ahead of Spurs, with City maintaining their 11-point gap over Manchester United and breaking records with their 15th consecutive league victory in Wednesday's 4-0 triumph over Swansea City.
City will be handed the opportunity to increase that up to 14 for a few hours at least with United playing West Brom on Sunday, but Spurs will certainly prove no pushover and Guardiola shared his admiration for Mauricio Pochettino's side ahead of kick-off.
“Spurs are a top team,” Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference. “It doesn’t matter their position in the table. For me, they are still a top team."
“Results are results but I see what they do – not their position," the coach concluded. "I have a lot of respect for them and what they do."
“They are a very good team," he proclaimed. "And I like to watch them play."
"I think it will be a good game tomorrow," Guardiola added. "Hopefully."
One of the best in the world
Saturday's clash at the Etihad Stadium will also be the venue for a reunion as Kyle Walker will look to impress against his old side, with the full-back having completed his big-money from White Hart Lane in the summer.
Walker was one of a handful of defensive signings from Guardiola and has settled into life at Eastlands like a duck to water, with the full-back being one of the main cogs in City's success thus far.
The England international will be desperate to show his old side what they have missed out on, and Guardiola even went as far to say that Walker is currently one of the best full-back's in the world.
"Yeah right now," he said when asked if Walker was one of the best full-backs in the world. "Definitely."
"His energy, he is so strong defensively but I would like to help him solve the problems," the coach stated. "Not only through his physicality, but also his thinking."
"Normally when the people are so strong physically," the Catalan stated. "He solves all of the problems with that."
"But he will get older and after that maybe he is going to need to use more thinking about what happens," Guardiola concluded. "And that's why we like to encourage him to think."