• Spurs go to the Etihad Stadium this weekend off the back of three straight wins.
  • Serge Aurier and Son Heung-Min's goals help overcome Brighton to leap club into top four.
  • Dele Alli and Kieran Trippier dropped for visit of Chris Hughton's men.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino will commit everything to trying to end Manchester City record-breaking winning run in the Premier League after leaping back into the top four with a win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

City claimed a 15th win on the bounce in the top flight with a 4-0 success at relegation-threatened Swansea City to remain 11 points clear at the top and a full 18 above Spurs, ahead of the clash at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (16 December).

But despite the daunting prospect of facing in-form City, Pochettino will not hold back with his team selection or approach and insists he is excited by the challenge of facing Pep Guardiola's title-winners in-waiting.

"It's not easy when the opponent [Brighton] only plays to defend," Pochettino said, according to Sky Sports. "But I think the team created a lot of chances. I am very pleased for the victory and the effort of the players.

"Anyone can play in a way they want. For us it was difficult, but I am not going to complain about how another team [Brighton] play. I just focus on how my players play.

"I am so positive. I am a positive person. I am happy for the three points. What happens on Saturday, who knows? We go to Manchester to try to win. Football is football.

"In the last week, we have got three wins, and that is so important for us. We now feel we can stay higher in the table. There is a long way to go in the season and anything can happen.

"We are going to enjoy the game, as it is a fantastic challenge to play Manchester City. They are the best team in England, and one of the best teams in Europe. I am so excited to play in these games. I like to play against these teams, against managers like Guardiola."

Pochettino made four changes from the thrashing of Stoke City but it did little to halt the recent Tottenham charge, which has seen them win their last three matches in a row, as Serge Aurier's fortunate opener and Son Heung-Min's header helped complete a 2-0 win.

Dele Alli was rested for the first time in 13 months while Erik Lamela made his first start since October 2016 after two bouts of hip surgery. Kieran Trippier, Mousa Dembele and Ben Davies were also left out from the start for Tottenham.

Alli did come off the bench for the concluding 16 minutes and Pochettino has revealed the England international was unhappy with being omitted, despite it coming ahead of the typically busy festive schedule.

"How does another player at Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool react when they are on the bench? Tottenham is a specialist in creating problems," he added.

"Alli was on the bench and then played 20 minutes. He's an important player for us. How do other players react when they are on the bench? Sure they are unhappy. No-one is happy. Everyone on the bench wanted to play."

Mauricio Pochettino
Pochettino is relishing the opportunity to pit his wits against Guardiola. Getty Images