Spurs travel to the Etihad Stadium this weekend five points adrift of leaders City and knowing victory would put them back within striking range of Roberto Mancini's men.

Even more is at stake this season than the corresponding fixture in 2010 and 2011, when Champions League qualification was on the line.

Tottenham won at City two years ago to reach Europe's premier club competition for the first time, a feat that was emulated by their opponents 12 months later courtesy of a revenge victory.

Both sides look strong favourites to qualify for next season's Champions League, with the title now the obvious target.

"It's a great game," Spurs midfielder Modric told his club's official website.

"In the last two seasons, we've played in massive games there.

"I hope we'll do well and maybe win - why not? We will go there in a positive frame of mind and try to win. We do that against every opponent."

City crushed Tottenham 5-1 at White Hart Lane in the reverse fixture in August but Redknapp's men were in disarray then, partly because of the transfer saga involving Modric and Chelsea.

Spurs are a completely different prospect now, with the arrival of Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor helping them embark on a run of only one league defeat in their 19 games since the City debacle.

Saturday's 1-1 draw with Wolves saw them miss the chance to go level on points at the top of the table - with City not playing until Monday - a result Modric insisted "wasn't the end of the world".

City have won all 10 of their league matches at the Etihad Stadium this season, scoring 31 goals and conceding just four.

But they have lost their last two home games - in the FA Cup and Carling Cup - with the absence of captain Vincent Kompany through suspension keenly felt.

Spurs will be without a talisman themselves, with the on-loan Adebayor prevented from playing against his parent club.

Meanwhile, Michael Dawson has insisted team-mate Gareth Bale deserves to be honoured among the world's best players after the winger made it into the UEFA.com users' Team of the Year for 2011.

Bale was the only Premier League player selected alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Dawson said: "There are some world-class players in that team and he's in there on merit, amongst the best.

"Gaz is actually quite a quiet lad. He's not someone who goes around shouting and screaming, he gets on with his job and he's not changed as a person from when he wasn't playing regularly a couple of years ago to now.

"He comes in, gets on his with work and works hard every day.

"He's such a naturally fit lad, energy to burn and the quality and consistency of his performances mean he deserves to be rated right up there.

"As I've said many times before when I've been asked about him, on his day, he's unstoppable.

"No one here is surprised to see how well he's done.

"He signed for us back in 2007, when he was still developing and it took him a while to come on, but now it seems he's been around for years.

"People forget he's only 22. He's still young and I'm sure there is more to come."

Also 22 is fringe forward Giovani Dos Santos, who has failed to make the breakthrough at Tottenham that Bale managed.

The Mexican, who cost £4.7million when he was brought in from Barcelona in the summer of 2008, is now being linked a January move to Villarreal following reported interest from Bolton, Wigan and Sevilla.