Assistant boss David Platt has warned Manchester City they will have to be ready for Gareth Bale and more at Tottenham this weekend.
The outstanding Bale could return to action after a fortnight out with an ankle injury as City visit White Hart Lane in the Barclays Premier League.
Prior to suffering his injury in a Europa League clash against Basle, Wales flyer Bale had been in dazzling form, scoring 13 goals in his last 15 appearances, including internationals.
Yet as Spurs continue to push for Champions League qualification, Platt knows there is more than one dangerman for City, who are not yet secure in second spot, to concern themselves with.
Platt, the first-team coach at the Etihad Stadium, said: "When he did the injury they were saying this might be the game for which he comes back but Tottenham have some very, very good players regardless of whether Gareth Bale plays or not.
"They have very good players who can score goals, players who will take the ball, and White Hart Lane is quite a difficult place to go to."
Manager Roberto Mancini has long been resigned to defeat in the title race and even victory this weekend would only cut Manchester United's lead to 10 points.
But performances in the past fortnight have provided a strong reminder of the class that brought City their glorious league success last year.
They were at their best to beat the runaway leaders at Old Trafford and they impressed again as they followed up by seeing off Chelsea in their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Perhaps therefore the drop in intensity for the midweek victory over Wigan was only to be expected.
But that 1-0 win, secured by a brilliant late goal by Carlos Tevez, showed another important quality - that of grinding out a result.
Now the task for City's backroom staff is to rally the players to ensure they finish strongly, secure the runners-up spot and win the cup.
Platt said: "The performance (against Wigan) didn't surprise us in that I knew our energy levels would be low - both (previous) games took a lot out of us.
"It wasn't the kind of performance we have needed - but the kind of result we needed.
"You don't want too many of those performances.
"It wasn't bad - the effort was there all right, but when you do play like that the result becomes the important thing, and one way or another you have to get that result out of it.
"If we had done it another two or three times we would be a lot closer."
City have two injury doubts for the game in forwards David Silva and Sergio Aguero, who both have hamstring problems.
Silva has missed the last two games after limping off in the closing stages against United while Aguero was withdrawn at half-time on Wednesday as a precaution.
Other changes are also likely with defenders Pablo Zabaleta, Matija Nastasic and Gael Clichy all having been rested on Wednesday.
Brian Kidd, another of Mancini's assistants, said: "Your rest is as important as training at this stage of the season.
"You are only really maintaining, not training. That is the same for clubs going for trophies or fighting relegation."
Kidd also feels Spurs, in a tight battle with Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton if just struggling to catch City, will come out firing.
He said: "This time last year, Harry (Redknapp) got them into a Champions League position.
"It was just unfortunate for Spurs that Chelsea won the Champions League
"I think it is going to be really tight until the end of the season."