LONDON (Reuters) - The Premier League’s only remaining unbeaten records are on the line on Sunday when Tottenham Hotspur will hope to follow Celtic and inflict another dent in Manchester City’s superb start to the campaign.
The City juggernaut had crushed all before them, winning every competitive game they had played this season, until they were held to a surprise 3-3 draw with Celtic in the Champions League on Wednesday.
That result, and the way the Scottish side exposed chinks in City’s defensive armour, will have given a fillip to Tottenham, fresh from a crucial Champions League win in Moscow, before England’s top two clash at White Hart Lane.
Pep Guardiola’s impressive start at the Etihad Stadium has made City many people’s favourites for the title, and Spurs will need all the grit they showed in their victory over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday to avoid losing further ground to their opponents.
Both sides will be without key players for Sunday’s clash.
Harry Kane, Spurs top scorer for the past two seasons, is expected to be out for at least another month after suffering ankle ligament damage against Sunderland on Sept. 18 -- although Son Heung-min’s stunning form has ensured they have not missed him as much as fans feared.
The South Korean scored his fifth goal in five games in Spurs’ 1-0 win in Moscow.
“He is on fire,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino told reporters. “To keep this form is very important for us.”
City, four points clear of their opponents and out to avenge their double defeat to Spurs in the league last season, will also be without several important players, including Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne, who were injured in last Saturday’s 3-1 Premier League win over Swansea City.
Arsenal, who are third, and Liverpool (fourth) will both expect to maintain their challenges away to struggling sides.
Arsene Wenger’s men will be bidding for their fifth league win in a row on Sunday at newly promoted Burnley, who won for only the second time this season on Monday when they beat Watford.
Arsenal, just a point behind Spurs, will hope top scorer Alexis Sanchez continues his impressive record against Burnley, having scored three goals and made one in his three appearances against them.
Swansea City beat Liverpool 3-1 at home last season, but with Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin under pressure following their poor start to the campaign and Liverpool revitalised under Juergen Klopp, they will be hard-pushed to match that in the corresponding fixture on Saturday.
Fifth-place Everton could go second for at least 24 hours if they beat Crystal Palace at home on Friday night.
Manchester United -- with captain Wayne Rooney by no means certain of a recall -- will be looking to extend their impressive home record against struggling Stoke City on Sunday, having won their last eight league games against Mark Hughes’s side at Old Trafford.
Reporting by Neville Dalton