This game is a must win for both sides if either are to stand any chance of attaining the coverted seventh place in the Premier League table.
Even if Spurs or City win, qualification still depends on other results going their way, as European rivals Fulham and West Ham are still in the running.
Spurs go into this game with a formiddable home record with City an abysmal away record.
This game seems destined for some twists and turns and one suspects that previous records mean nothing with such high stakes.
Mark Hughes said of saturdays important game: ‘I have said for a number of weeks now that the game against Tottenham was likely to be the key one with regard to European qualification.
‘My view has not changed. We are looking to win our last two games. If we can do that we would go close to that seventh position.
‘The idea is to be in a position where we are very much in the mix going into that final game.’
Manchester City captain Richard Dunne is still hopeful of European qualification, stating: ‘It’s a tough game, but probably two or three months ago we wouldn’t have thought we’d be in with a chance of getting a European place.
‘These last few weeks of the season have been good, and – the derby game apart, obviously – the results have been good and we’ve performed well. We feel we’re in form and our confidence is high.
‘The manager says there won’t be many teams working quite as hard as we are on the training ground at the moment. Hopefully, that will work in our favour at Tottenham on Saturday and we’ll be the stronger side.
‘A win would give us a big chance going into the last game against Bolton. We were desperate to get that away win at Everton, but once you’ve got one you hope that the next one comes along quickly.
‘We have been disappointing on our travels this year, so to still have a chance of qualifying for Europe at this stage is some achievement and a sign of how well we’ve been doing at home.’
Tottenham Hotspur Team News:
Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Didier Zokora have both been declared match fit to face Manchester City after overcoming their respective injuries.
Ever impressive winger Aaron Lennon, Darren Bent and Michael Dawson are all out of action for Saturday’s game while Jamie O’Hara and Adel Taarabt have both had operations and will not feature for the remainder of the season.
January signing Wilson Palacios is at home in Honduras due to personal reasons.
Player to watch: Modric
Without the likes of Palacios and Lennon in midfield, Spurs will be looking to their Croatian playmaker to make things happen in attack.
Kompany and De Jong should be well practiced against such a slippery customer after training against the likes of Ireland and Robinho day in day out.
They will still have to be careful though as Modric can still create some wonderful stuff.
Manchester City FC Team News:
Diminutive winger Shaun Wright-Phillips who has been struggling with a knee problem over the last few weeks could be on the bench after returning to training.
Brazilan super-star Robinho misses out with a groin injury picked up against United.
Player to watch: Martin Petrov
Petrov will no doubt be starting for the injured Robinho and up against lumbering former City team mate Vedran Corluka, he could certainly do some damage behind the back line.
If the Bulgarian can produce some of the magic that he showed last season, Tottenham should be very worried.
Match Facts & Stats
In 11 Premier League visits to White Heart Lane, City have only won once- back in 2003…
Both teams top-scorers are injured, Tottenham’s Darren Bent and City’s Robinho.
Manchester City have only managed to pick up 11 points away from home, as opposed to 36 at Eastlands.
Tottenham have won their last five home league games without conceding in six.
City have never finished higher than eighth in their 11 Premier League seasons.
Manchester City have actually won one more Premier League game than Spurs, although they sit two places below them in the table.
Mark Halsey officates having refereed 25 games this season with two red cards and 34 yellows. The bad news is that he has overseen three City loses!
This game is absolutely unmissable and few would have predicted that European qualification could be on the cards come January. Credit to Hughes and Redknapp, they have both turned things around at either club and Saturday’s game will see just who has done the better job. Seeing how Mark Lawrenson predicted Spurs to win 3-1 and is always wrong, I am predicting a City win. Tottenham 0-1 MCFC.
Home to Bolton on Sunday 24th May 2009 at 4pm.