The Russian striker has admitted that Spurs' fifth-placed finish last term was not good enough, but believes this season will be different.
"Last season we took a step back, We didn't complete the task of finishing in the top four," he was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
"If we hadn't lost so many points at the end we could have fought for a place in the top three.
"Next year I think we really will be in the top three. Tottenham are a very strong team with excellent players.
"It's too early to fight for first or second - Chelsea and Manchester United are a level above - but for the past two seasons we've fought as equals with Man City and Arsenal."
Pavlyuchenko says he knows the importance of beating their north London rivals, and believes clashes between the two are more like battles than football matches.
He added: "From the moment I came to Tottenham it was immediately made clear by the fans and the club that the most important games are against Arsenal.
"Both teams go on the pitch not to play football, but to break their backs and battle. It's a fact - no-one is spared. I felt it."The 29-year-old is happy at White Hart Lane, but his future has been clouded with doubt after manager Harry Redknapp stated he was in the market for a new striker, with a host of Russian clubs chasing the Spurs forward.