The memory of November's 6-0 hammering at the Etihad will be fresh in the minds of the Tottenham Hotspur players as they welcome Manchester City to White Hart Lane on Wednesday evening.
Spurs (13-4-5) conceded within 14 seconds in that game and went on to ship five more goals in a match that proved to be the beginning of the end for Andre Villas-Boas as Tottenham manager.
"I didn't play in the game at City but I watched it on the TV and I felt for the guys," said midfielder Christian Eriksen. "Hopefully we can put it right now. "Everyone knows you have to be on your toes when you play City. You don't even have to say it. We have to be at our top level."
New boss Tim Sherwood has delivered impressive results in the league since taking over with five wins and a draw from his six games in charge, but he has also seen Spurs crash out of both cup pursuits. In a further boost for the former Tottenham and Blackburn midfielder, Spurs may be able to welcome back key players Sandro (calf), Andros Townsend (hamstring), Paulinho (ankle) and Jan Vertonghen (ankle) for City's visit.
"It is great news to see so many lads returning from injury at such a crucial time," Sherwood told his club's website. "With players of this quality coming back to fitness it reinforces the fact that we have strength and depth in the squad, and players with real quality and ability. That's what I look for."
Manchester City (16-2-4) have been in stunning form of late, with seven straight wins in the league and over 100 goals in all competitions. However, Manuel Pellegrini's side were given a scare in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday when they went 2-0 down to Championship side Watford, only for Sergio Aguero's second half hat-trick to help rally them to a 4-2 win.
"I wanted to change all of my players at half-time, all 11 of them," said a furious Pellegrini. "The whole team was a disaster.
"If you don't play with 100 percent intensity and desire you can lose and go out of the competition and we were jogging in the first half. If you play like that you can't win. But the reaction was there and we played a really good second half."
Tottenham remain without the injured Younes Kaboul (hip) and Erik Lamela, while Manchester City are without Samir Nasri (knee) and have doubts over James Milner (groin), David Silva (hamstring) and Alvaro Negredo (shoulder).
City's weaknesses have been away from home this season, with only five wins from their 11 games on the road. However, hosts Tottenham have struggled for goals on their own patch, with just 13 in their 11 games at the Lane - the lowest tally in the top nine.
Spurs did have an excellent record against City and had won 12 in 13 meetings going into the 2010-11 season. However, a 3-1 victory in this fixture last season - with all three goals in a spectacular seven-minute span - is Tottenham's only win over City in the last seven attempts.
The Manchester club has outscored the Londoners 18-7 in that run, including a 5-1 romp at White Hart Lane in 2011.
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