Pochettino confident Wembley will be pitch perfect for Manchester City clash

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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is confident the Wembley pitch will be in playable condition for their Premier League clash with Manchester City.

Spurs take on the champions at the national stadium just 24 hours after the NFL match between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Playing the game on Monday night was Tottenham’s only option as their new stadium is not ready and City were not open to reversing the fixture and then having to visit Spurs later on in the season.

NFL games have left the Wembley turf in bad condition in the past, but the Spurs boss is confident the groundstaff can do a good job, though he joked it might benefit his team if they do not.

“Maybe it is good for us because we are going to face one of the best teams in Europe and the world in Manchester City and maybe it will help us,” he said. “It wasn’t a plan for us to play in that period at Wembley and now we cannot complain.

“Only we need to accept the reality and know that we cannot change that.

“We hope that the weather will be good and not kill the pitch and we can play in a very good condition.

“I am sure all the people that are involved in the pitch are going to work so hard to get it in a really good condition. That is my wish and I hope it can happen.”

The rearranged fixture comes just 48 hours before Spurs have to go to West Ham in the Carabao Cup and is one of five games in 12 days.

Pochettino accepts the packed schedule is in part due to their stadium delay and is not making excuses.

“That is not the ideal situation to compete, we have a problem, we create the problem and we need to sort the problem,” he added. “We can’t complain, we are a little bit unlucky that the stadium is not finished.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City – Premier League – White Hart Lane
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, left, takes his side to face Spurs at Wembley on Monday (John Walton/PA)

“We will be clear in the way we want to approach the game and we will try to win the game, that is the most important thing.

“No one is going to explain if we don’t win the game that we play in difficult circumstances, when you lose, you lose and you need to accept the criticism.

“When you win it is easy to explain but when you lose you cannot use an excuse. We created that situation and we need to sort that.”

Spurs midfielder Dele Alli is back in training after a hamstring injury but Pochettino is not convinced he will use him at Wembley.

“It’s good news but we need to be careful because he was re-injured against Watford after his first injury.

“Now we need to be careful. We are happy that he started with the group.

“Yes, sure we hope he will be available for Monday but not sure if we’re going to put him in the squad or not.”

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