Villas-Boas and his men were jeered off the pitch when they lost to Wigan last weekend, but they put on a much-improved display to tear apart Maribor in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Sunday's Barclays Premier League game represents a huge step up in calibre of opposition, but Tottenham have looked dangerous on their travels this season, with their best performance coming at Old Trafford, where they beat City's neighbours Manchester United 3-2.
Spurs stunned United in the first half of that match with a pulsating display of attacking football and Villas-Boas plans the same approach when his men step out at the Etihad Stadium.
"We want to respond a little bit to Tottenham's philosophy. We want to be brave away from home," the Tottenham manager said.
"We certainly always try to have a go. Our away form gives us something that is very pleasing and we know that we will play in a very confident way away from home.
"We are very confident. Whenever you play the champions in their own ground it's excellent so we obviously go there to win.
"We will play our style of football knowing we have nothing to lose against a team like City.
"It will be difficult but we have our own strengths too and they will be aware of that."
Jermain Defoe may prove key to Tottenham's chances of pulling off an unlikely victory in Manchester.
Defoe could not get into Harry Redknapp's first XI on a regular basis last season, but he has been an ever-present under Villas-Boas this term.
The former West Ham man has rewarded Villas-Boas for his faith in him by delivering eight goals for the Londoners, including three against Maribor this week.
"He has been playing a good amount of games and for such a prolific striker like he is, this amount of games have come with more goalscoring opportunities, which he has converted," Villas-Boas said.
"I think his class is always there. He did well for us from the beginning, He started scoring straight away at Newcastle. Strikers live off goals and scoring a hat-trick is something that puts them on stilts."
Although Gareth Bale and Tom Carroll provided the assists for Defoe's goals on Thursday, link-up play with Emmanuel Adebayor was also an important factor behind his devastating performance.
It was the first time that Villas-Boas had started Defoe and Adebayor up front. The former Chelsea boss has preferred to play a 4-2-3-1 formation with Clint Dempsey just behind Defoe, who has been playing as a lone striker.
Despite Adebayor's effectiveness, and the fact that he will be desperate to get one over on his former club, Villas-Boas hinted he could drop the Togolese player to the bench on Sunday.
"We have a couple of players that deserve respect for what they are doing," Villas-Boas said.
"Ade played well against Maribor, but Clint has had an amazing run of games and we take that into account."
Should Adebayor score against his old club, he will not be under orders to dumb down his celebration.
In September 2009 the Togolese famously ran the length of the pitch at the Etihad Stadium to slide in front of the Arsenal fans in his first game against the Gunners since leaving them.
Adebayor received a three-match ban because of the celebration, which cemented his status as a hate figure among most Arsenal fans.
"I never say something about celebrations. Emotion in football is emotion for me," Villas-Boas said. "Let people express themselves."