By Nick Teale
With four games to go Manchester City's fate is in their own hands.
Take maximum points from their remaining fixtures, and they will finish fourth. However, as well as Saturday's trip to Arsenal, they also take on Aston Villa and Tottenham before ending the season at Upton Park in a game will potentially have West Ham United's Premier League fate riding on it.
So are Roberto Mancini's side confident of earning a place in next season's Champions League? We spoke to Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News to find out.
THE STORY SO FAR
"Some people might be disappointed if City don't get fourth place but I think memories are short. At the start of the season I think if they had been offered fifth they would have been delighted with that, so expectations have grown as the season has progressed. At the start of the season [former manager] Mark Hughes was told that top six was his aim, and they are well on course for that, so they are exceeding expectations."
THE MAN IN CHARGE
"If you look at the record of Roberto Mancini compared with Hughes, I think both have been in charge of 17 matches this season and Mancini has definitely edged it in terms of points gathered in those games. Hughes was unlucky in some ways. There were some games they drew which they shouldn't have drawn. But you can't argue with Mancini's record. He's turned some of those draws into wins, just with a little bit more organisation."
"What happens in the summer is entirely dependent on the end of this season. If they get into the Champions League it opens up new horizons. They could then start looking at some of the very top players, who are motivated by more than just the money because they can get the money be going to any one of a number of clubs. I think they have been drawing up two lists - one is if they get into the Champions League, and one is for if they don't."
AN EYE ON FORMER GUNNERS
"Kolo Toure started the season extremely well and he hasn't quite been the same since he got back from the Africa Cup of Nations and Adebayor has had a poor season for one reason or another, which all began in that game against Arsenal where he lost control of himself a little. And we know what happened to him at the Africa Cup of Nations - it took him a while to get over that. He said himself that he wants to write this season off but he is not prepared to do that until he has helped Man City into fourth place
"Then they have also got Sylvinho, Stuart Taylor and Patrick Vieira, so there's a little ex-Gunners colony here! Vieira always speaks fondly of Arsenal and I think now his return is upon us he will be looking forward to it."
"Mancini likes to throw in selection surprises. I would suspect that they will go for it and try and attack Arsenal. They did that against Manchester United where they played four forward players - two wingers and two strikers, and if that happens you can't really see a place for Vieira but I believe he has been doing well in training."
NEW FACES - ADAM JOHNSON
"He has been a very good signing. He has really excited the City fans. You expect a young player like that taking the step up from the Championship to need some time but he had an immediate impact. He takes full backs on and gets shots and crosses in and he has done tremendously well. The City fans are looking forward to seeing him mature because he could be a great player if he continues to develop."