Roberto Mancini declares that next Wednesday's showdown with Tottenham is City's Cup Final - but says that his Champions League chasers must first win tomorrow's semi-final.
The Blues boss rates Aston Villa a real danger to the bid for fourth place and expects Martin O'Neill's men to pose a genuine attacking threat at the City of Manchester Stadium.
And he will warn his players - who finish their campaign with a tricky trip to West Ham - that they cannot afford to focus on Tottenham's crucial visit if they are to reach their goal.
Mancini said: "It's a big few days - we have a semi-final and a final! It's most important that we win the game against Aston Villa before we can think about Tottenham.
"We must concentrate on Villa, it's a massive game. They are above us in the table at the moment, even if they have played one more game than us. It is most important that we win.
They will come here and attack, and that is better. They are a very good team - they have a good mentality and they will come to try and win the game
James Milner has collected the accolades as Villa have impressed this season. Mancini said: "Milner is a good young midfielder, but Villa have not just Milner but a lot of good players.
"Richard Dunne played for City and was captain, he is a good defender. He will want to come here and be the best player on the pitch, like Kolo did against Arsenal in London."
City have to overcome the loss of goalkeeper Shay Given, one of the players of the season, after he dislocated a shoulder, but the boss has no doubt about their mental strength.
He said: "We work for this for a year - now at the end of the season we have three games. We wanted fourth position, now we have chance. The players have this set in their minds."