With their recent slump apparently at an end, can Tottenham dispel suggestions of an end of season choke and storm back to the promised land of Champions League football?
It’s no doubt been an excellent season for Tottenham Hotspur. Whilst the success of their 2009/2010 campaign in breaking the monopoly of the ‘top four’ impressed all involved in the game, the assured nature of the current side means one might be inclined to think they’ve been up there for years now.
As the season reaches it’s climax Spurs seem to have come through the worst with their top four status still intact. However, with an improving Chelsea and a determined Newcastle outfit breathing down their necks, will the North Londoners force home their advantage, or fade into the backdrop of the Europa League? Whatever happens, the next five games are sure to shape their destiny.
The Black Cats have been magnificent under Martin O’Neill, and theyshould have beat former pace setters Man City at Eastlands on Saturday. However, weaknesses remain at the heart of their defence, and after a monumental effort since Steve Bruce’s departure in November there might be a few tired legs against a Spurs side focused on the job in hand. Prediction: 1-2 Win
Norwich are another side how have done fantastic this term, and in Paul Lambert they boast one of the finest young managers in the game. They’ll give the Spurs back line a few headaches, with Holt and Morison sure to makes themselves known on the day, but much like fellow new boys Swansea last weekend, you’d have to think Delia’s men might cave under the incessant pressure of Tottenham’s attacking play on their own turf. Predication: 3-1 Win
This could be a tricky one. Ranger’s clearly have their problems, the entire defence being one rather large one, but as they showed against Arsenal they’ve not given up the ghost just yet.
In Mark Hughes they have a manager who’s experienced in toppling the top sides, and he’ll be determined to preserve a CV which has always boasted top light football. No club relishes going away to a side battling relegation in April, and this encounter will be no different. Prediction: 1-1 Draw
Another side haunted by the prospect of the Championship, Rovers have improved so much that Steve Kean’s one of the least talked about bosses around at the moment. They held United well for 80 minutes on Monday and clearly have the stomach for a scrap, but much like a plethora of teams before them, White Hart Lane may prove to be a challenge too far. Prediction: 2-0 Win
These two will meet for the fourth time this season, and memories of the horrendous scenes at the Lane in last months FA Cup encounter will still be fresh. But both sides will have plenty to play for, and the manner in which Bolton have reacted to Fabrice Muamba’s unforeseen plight has illuminated every fan of the sport.
With the Trotters fighting for their Premier League status and Spurs gunning for Europe, it’s sure to be a fascinating game in every respect. It’s also worth pointing out Redknapp’s boys have a wretched record at the Reebok, and won’t relish yet another clash against the Leagues basement boys. Prediction: 2-1
Verdict: In facing three sides desperate for points at the foot of the table, Tottenham’s run-in isn’t as comfortable as some may think. But they have the experience, the quality and the spirit to cement a deserved place in the top four, and could potentially dispose of rivals Arsenal to finish third, and I don’t think anybody could argue with that either.
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