Pep Guardiola has been tasked with motivating a similar set of players to the one which won the domestic treble during the last campaign, but there are already signs that City will only continue to improve over the next nine months.
While the Premier League champions required penalties to see off Liverpool in the Community Shield, their clinical touch was on show as they dismantled West Ham at the London Stadium last Saturday.
There were times when City looked vulnerable, especially at 2-0 ahead and having had a high-quality effort chalked off by VAR, but the North-West outfit responded with three more goals during the closing quarter of the game.
Sterling rightly received most of the plaudits for his second-half treble, although it took contributions all over the pitch for City to register such a one-sided scoreline.
The playmaker found himself in and out of the team during his opening 12 months at City, but contributing two assists has put him firmly in Guardiola's good books going forward.
Nevertheless, the most daunting aspect of last week's performance was that it came without Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero in the starting lineup, while Joao Cancelo will only benefit this team having joined from Juventus.
However, while those players are pushing for roles in the first XI on Saturday, Guardiola may feel comfortable with keeping them in reserve after the five-star demolition of the Hammers.
Recent form: W
Recent form (all competitions): DW
After being allowed to make significant additions in the summer transfer window, Mauricio Pochettino is under pressure to build on last season's appearance in the Champions League final.
However, there were times against Villa last weekend where Spurs looked far away from matching the likes of City and Liverpool in the race for the Premier League title.
Pochettino suggested in his post-match press conference that he had got his tactics wrong, acknowledging that club-record arrival Tanguy Ndombele had under-performed on the left-hand side of a diamond.
With City and Arsenal to come before the international break, Pochettino would have been relieved that Spurs were not already playing catch-up to their immediate rivals, but the Argentine watched his team struggle without the influence of Eriksen.
That absence could become permanent should Spurs receive a significant offer for a player who has less than a year remaining on his contract, although Pochettino may argue that the midfielder is needed in order to keep the club in the top four.
Given his contribution against Villa, Pochettino could feel obliged to recall Eriksen for a game of this magnitude, although it would inevitably leave him to field questions regarding the faith he has in players who may outlast one of his key men.
That said, Pochettino is aware that he has little control over a situation which could change several times over the next couple of weeks, giving him the leeway to introduce Eriksen back into the fold at the Etihad Stadium.
Recent form: W
While having to contemplate a start for Eriksen, Pochettino must also decide whether to bring back Jan Vertonghen, who was dropped from the squad last weekend.
Unless Spurs switch to a back three or encounter a late injury issue, the Belgium international may have to make do with a spot among the replacements.
Despite Son Heung-min serving the final game of his suspension, Giovani Lo Celso is only likely to feature on the bench, leaving Pochettino to choose any two of Moussa Sissoko, Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura for the final midfield positions.
Mahrez was arguably City's man of the match against West Ham, but that may not prevent Guardiola from dropping him in favour of Bernardo.
Aguero will also hope to come in for Gabriel Jesus, although the Brazilian may be preferred given his extra match sharpness.
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, D.Silva; B.Silva, Jesus, Sterling
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Walker-Peters, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Rose; Winks, Ndombele; Sissoko, Eriksen, Moura; Kane
Head To Head
Saturday's match will represent the 160th competitive encounter between the two clubs, with City recording 63 wins in comparison to 61 victories for Spurs.
Each of the last four contests have been decided by a one-goal margin, although City have prevailed in five of the most recent half-a-dozen clashes.
An early goal from Phil Foden saw City emerge victorious in last season's corresponding fixture back in April.
We say: Manchester City 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur
While Spurs will have positive memories of the Etihad Stadium after their Champions League success earlier this year, they may struggle to impose themselves against a City outfit who could become a different animal with Rodri in their midfield. Taking that into consideration, we are backing City to run out comfortable victors.
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