The Premier League champions have enjoyed two days more rest than Spurs after their European exploits, a factor that the Spurs boss believes could prove decisive this weekend.
Roberto Mancini's men fought out a 2-2 UEFA Champions League draw with Ajax on Tuesday while Spurs were forced to wait until Thursday to complete a 3-1 UEFA Europa League victory over Maribor. Spurs' Portuguese boss believes that could make all the difference when the sides do battle at the Etihad Stadium this weekend.
"City have two days extra than us, this is the main difference. The reality is they have that extra freshness," Villas-Boas told reporters. "But there is enough time to recover. The body takes 48 hours to recover from physical effort and we'll be able to make that recovery.
"We go four steps up in competition [on Sunday], it's a different scenario. It was a good performance [Thursday], it was important for us to bounce back, to do it in such a good manner was fantastic. At the weekend we play the champions of England [who are] a totally different proposition. They will want to bounce back after a run of bad results."
The North London side enjoyed success in playing two strikers against Maribor, but the 35-year-old was coy when asked if he would repeat the tactic against the Premier League champions.
"It was good to see us in this system, with Adebayor coming short and linking play very, very well," Villas-Boas said. "We have been playing with two strikers, but one off the other one, and we are still a team that creates lots of opportunities with one off or with two up front.
"It was good to see the link up of Adebayor and Defoe, but we ended with one striker coming short all the time so it was exactly the same. I base my decision making on the performance in the game and in training. I have not made a decision at the moment, but in the short time of preparation I will decide."