Regardless of what happens in the final two fixtures and no matter where the Premier League trophy resides, Manchester City must pull out all the stops and bring Gareth Bale to the Etihad Stadium this summer.
If they do so, then the blue half of Manchester will dominate domestically and challenge seriously in Europe for the foreseeable future.
Width is an area City have lacked this term, an asset which was severely exposed during a lean spell in March that almost took the title out of their hands.
Mancini has favoured a narrow formation throughout the campaign, and when it works it is almost unplayable – the likes of Samir Nasri, David Silva and Sergio Aguero find space that others simply can’t see.
But when teams do get to grips with the diminutive creators, having the option of a lung-busting winger dashing down the left would give City another unplayable weapon and an alternative formation when things are going wrong.
Whatever the cost, signing Bale is a must this summer.
Aston Villa are a top-flight team of long-standing respectability because they come out on top in games when they have absolutely no right to – like Sunday’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur.
After Arsenal’s slip up to Norwich City the stage is set for Spurs to beat the Villains, jump above their rivals and put themselves in the driving seat for the last, safe, Champions League spot.
Chelsea triumphing against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final is unlikely but could happen with the way the Blues’ season has gone since André Villas-Boas left.
Winning would mean Spurs’ fourth spot wouldn’t be enough to reach Europe’s premier club competition.
So Tottenham really should beat Villa on Sunday and get their just desserts for an outstanding season.
But ingrained in Villa’s DNA is a desperate need to acquire 40 points every season and they do that by causing an upset when their opponents least expects it.
Being on 37 at the moment will really unsettle Alex McLeish and his team even though it might be enough to keep them up.
Darren Bent is out but Villa will find a way to be at their best and Spurs had better be playing top quality football to overcome them. Even then it may not be enough.
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