Defoe confiident of shock victory
Jermain Defoe insists Tottenham are capable of pulling off the shock victory which eluded them by the smallest of margins at Manchester City last season.
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28. Jermain Defoe
Tottenham head to Lancashire brimming with confidence after bouncing back from their horror show against Wigan with a fine display in Thursday night's 3-1 win over Maribor.
Spurs know a much bigger test awaits them at the Etihad Stadium, where they suffered an agonising 3-2 defeat to the Barclays Premier League champions last season.
Had Defoe been an inch taller, the Londoners would have probably beaten Roberto Mancini's men.
With the score at 2-2, the diminutive hitman just failed to get on the end of Gareth Bale's cross in the final minute before the hosts went up the other end and scored a last-gasp penalty.
Tottenham have struggled against mediocre top-flight teams so far this term, but Defoe thinks this season's memorable 3-2 win over City's neighbours Manchester United - their first at Old Trafford since 1989 - proves the team can record upset the odds at the home of the champions on Sunday.
"If you win at United, you can win anywhere and not just in England, anywhere in Europe," Defoe told Spurs TV Online.
"They are one of the biggest clubs in the world and to go there and play how we did in the first half, that performance was unbelievable.
"The second half was a little different, but you get that at Old Trafford. If we can do the same at City it would be fantastic."
So far this season Mancini has failed to get his team playing the enterprising football that won them the title last year.
The Italian's team have won just one of their last four games and they stand on the brink of exiting the Champions League after a winless start to the competition.
Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen believes this could be a good time to face City's squad of illustrious stars.
"City have been struggling a bit with their confidence and we are strong in away games. We can hurt them on the break," the Belgian said.
"We want to win there and we're capable of it. Why not? City are one of the best teams in the Premier League but with our pace we can hurt anybody, so we're hopeful of getting a good result."
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas sounded a note of caution when discussing the prospect of claiming a vital win in Manchester, however.
He said: "They had an amazing start last year and then a dip towards the end. It can go the other way round for them.
"A team with such talent and ability is always in a position to bounce back."
Villas-Boas had not made his mind up whether to stick with Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor up front for the game or revert to the 4-2-3-1 formation which he has used for the majority of the season.
Based on Thursday night's display it would be questionable to drop Adebayor for Clint Dempsey, who likes to play just behind Defoe.
Although Adebayor lacked sharpness in front of goal, the way he linked up with Defoe was impressive, and there will be no doubting the 28-year-old's desire to get one over on Mancini, with whom he endured a tumultuous relationship during the striker's time with the champions.
Defoe, meanwhile, goes in to the match having now racked up 10 goals for club and country this season.
Thursday night's display against Maribor was arguably his best of the season. The former West Ham man dispatched a cool volley to put Spurs ahead before adding his second and third strikes courtesy of pinpoint assists from Tom Carroll and Gareth Bale.
He now wants to continue his scoring spree against Mancini's side on Sunday.
"To score a hat-trick in a European night at the Lane, that's special," he said.
"The goals seem to be flowing and I just want to keep it going. I don't want to take my foot off the gas, I just want to continue scoring goals and keep winning games."