Adebayor eyes Champions League

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The Independent Football

Emmanuel Adebayor is intent on steering Manchester City into the Champions League after "the worst season of my life".

The former Arsenal striker prepares to face Manchester United on Saturday at Eastlands in a rich vein of form.

He scored his second brace in successive games in the 5-1 defeat of Birmingham yesterday to take his tally for the season to 13 goals.

In the process City cemented fourth place in the Barclays Premier League table with five games remaining.

Adebayor is just glad to be out there helping the cause as he remains deeply affected after being caught up in the gun attack on the Togo team bus before the African Nations Cup.

That shocking incident in Angola claimed the lives of three people and led to the nation pulling out of the tournament.

Adebayor said: "I am pleased with my form as this has been the worst season of my life.

"I got suspended, I got injured, I got attacked. I am just very happy on the pitch now and enjoying myself playing football.

"I am taking in every minute I can. I have my happiness back on the pitch.

"We have big confidence with some important games coming up and we are ready for them. We are scoring a lot of goals and that is good for us.

"We know it is going to be very difficult but our destiny is in our own hands.

"It is important we do everything to stay in that fourth position until the end of the season. Everyone is fighting to win games and we all have the same mentality."

City have scored 14 goals in three games with former United striker Carlos Tevez in arguably the form of his life.

He also grabbed a brace yesterday to take his tally to 28 and with Craig Bellamy in double figures as well the team carry a significant attacking threat.

Adebayor cannot wait to face Sir Alex Ferguson's side, who are struggling to retain their title after a goal-less draw against Blackburn.

"United are one of the biggest clubs in Europe, so it is going to be a nice game. These are the matches as a striker you want to play in, " he told

"You want to play against the best defenders and the best teams. You want to test yourself.

"It is an important game for the club to see what we can do. Being at home with our fans behind us we will do our best and hopefully win the game."

Manager Roberto Mancini will monitor Patrick Vieira's fitness as he has a knee problem. The midfielder was due to play against Birmingham but was withdrawn after pulling up in the warm-up.

However Pablo Zabaleta is available again for the weekend after serving a two-match suspension.

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish is looking for a positive response from his players with a win against Hull at home on Saturday following a run of six League games with victory.

He said: "The players will be determined not to let things slip and hopefully we can put things right in the next game."

McLeish admitted his his side had been exposed by slick opponents.

He said: "We didn't play that badly. It was just City's front four were different quality.

"We added to our own downfall with some sloppiness and there are things to work on. But we are still developing as a team."