Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne says it would be “disrespectful” to think Tottenham will be easier to overcome without the injured Harry Kane.
England international Kane was substituted with an ankle injury during Spurs’ 1-0 win over City in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie last week.
He is likely to miss the rest of the season after it was confirmed he suffered ligament damage to his left ankle – a repeat of the issue sustained against Manchester United in January that ruled him out for just over a month.
Lucas Moura filled the goalscoring void in style on Saturday, plundering a hat-trick as Spurs beat Huddersfield Town 4-0, and De Bruyne believes Mauricio Pochettino’s side will still pose a significant threat in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
“Harry Kane is a wonderful striker, but it would be disrespectful to the other guys [to suggest it will be easier],” he told reporters.
“They won against us without him when he went off last week and they have brilliant players.
“They won so many games without him before and they are still a very good team without him. Obviously, he’s a really good player, but it’s not going to change anything.
“It will be a great game – a good atmosphere and, hopefully, a good game. For us, it’s all or nothing.”
City and Tottenham meet again on Saturday in the Premier League, a day before title rivals Liverpool visit relegation-threatened Cardiff City.
Pep Guardiola’s side sit two points adrift of the Reds but with a game in hand and De Bruyne believes they will have to win all their remaining games – including a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United next Wednesday – if they are to retain the title.
“If we don’t win the Premier League, people are going to say it’s a failure,” he added. “Even if we don’t make it, I think we’ll still have had a great season.
“We’ll probably have to win every game to win the title from here, and we can only control what we’re doing, but we’re still there and doing really well.”