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Battle for fourth place reaches climax on Wednesday...

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini portrayed Wednesday’s critical match against Tottenham Hotspur, which could decide who gets fourth place in the Premier League, as nothing less than a "a cup final."

City was able to eliminate Aston Villa from the race for a Champions League spot on Saturday with a 3-1 victory, despite falling behind to an early John Carew goal.

The victory keeps the Citizens a point behind Spurs, who defeated Bolton Wanderers 1-0 on Saturday at White Hart Lane.

Mancini and his squad will host Tottenham in midweek, in a battle that could decide who plays in the Champions League next season.

“Wednesday is a final. We wanted a final this year and now we have one,” Mancini told the Daily Star.

“And it will be a difficult match against Tottenham [Hotspur] who are a strong team. It’s the most important game of the year and we need our fans behind us.

“I don’t know if my future depends on this game - that’s not important at the moment. All I can say is I like football and I like this job.”

Villa boss Martin O’Neill regretted a missed opportunity at Eastlands, after seeing his side's bid four fourth spot quashed.

“John Carew hit the bar and within 25 seconds of that [Manchester] City scored again," he told a press conference.

“So we were 2-1 behind and not 2-1 ahead, which was a monumental moment in such a big game.”

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