Man City boss Pep Guardiola dismisses claims Spurs won't be up for crunch clash

It's a big week, an intense week, for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City.

If they win their game in hand against Tottenham, they'll have one hand on their fourth Premier League title in a row.

"It's a bit different. You prepare in the same way, but you know what you are playing for so it's a little bit different," he tells me.

No team has achieved four on the bounce so that would be City's unique slice of football history.

"This competition gives us the chance to do something no one has done so we are going to take it," Guardiola says. "We're going to prove it.

"The legendary teams of the 80s with Liverpool, 90s with Sir Alex Ferguson, Chelsea and Arsenal with Jose [Mourinho] and Arsene Wenger.. these generations were not able to do it, that's how difficult it is.

"We are one game away, to give us the chance to play the last one [for the title]. And we are going to try and get it."

Managing the emotions of his players this week is not an issue, with Arsenal's Declan Rice even joking that City are a "machine", a comment Guardiola says shows how much respect they've generated. "Our contenders, managers [and] teams know how difficult it is and every single year we are still there.

"But the answer is, it's just a football game tomorrow and the better team is going to win. Simple as that."

Even though Spurs have had a shaky end to the season, they can take comfort in knowing they are something of a bogey team for City, who've suffered four defeats and scored zero goals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

"Our record is really bad," says Guardiola. "I have a different mindset. To win four [titles] in a row you have to do something exceptional. Never before were we able to win in the Premier league there. This is the time to do it."

And there is, of course, the Spurs vs Arsenal rivalry. Would Spurs really want to help their bitter rivals win the league? That, according to Guardiola, is just fan chat.

"I'll give you some advice, don't ask Ange [Postecoglou] or his players, don't do it," he says. "They would be quite offended.

"I have quite a lot of respect for Ange and his players. Of course, the fans don't want to help Arsenal, their biggest rivals, but the fans want Champions League next season. And the players want to play good in front of 60,000 people.

"I don't have any doubts they want to perform the best they can, I'm pretty sure of that."

And like Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, Guardiola is a big fan of Postecoglou. "I have huge admiration for the courage I saw in the game against Liverpool.

"They [were] losing 4-0 and continued the same - the same go and go and go... The first season [in charge] is difficult. If the club support him and give him what he needs, he will do an incredible job. I'm a big fan of him."

With so much at stake, there will perhaps be a 24/7 planning operation until the final day of the season on Sunday, but Guardiola says there has to be down time. "After Tuesday, we have one or two days to switch off and prepare. I [have] learned to do that.

"In the early days as a manager I never switched off and arrived to games so exhausted. Now, I'm able to disconnect a little bit and come back strong."

But he fully understands why Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp is walking away at the end of the season.

"Absolutely I recognise myself in that decision," he says. "I did it at Barcelona so I can understand it."

Guardiola though, has no intention of walking away from City anytime soon. "I still love it to come in in the morning and plan the game, I'm fine," he says. "Sir Alex Ferguson said […] as a player you look at the manager, as a manager you look at the hierarchy.

"There's not a better place I can be. I've never had this support in my life, that's why I've been here eight years and another one, that's nine. That's the reason."

They may be in the box seat for the title again, and for making some Premier League history, but Guardiola is not looking beyond the Spurs match. "I visualise the game, I don't visualise parades or that kind of stuff. Not for one second."