Four key games in Tottenham Hotspur’s quest to finish in the top-four
Jose Mourinho did not leave Manchester United under the best of circumstances. However, it seems like the Red Devils have done him and Tottenham Hotspur a favour.
If United’s 2-0 victory over Chelsea improved the Red Devils’ chances of making the Champions League, it rocketed Spurs chances into the stratosphere, with the win taking us to within a point of the Blues who currently occupy fourth place.
Chelsea have been in bad form of late and have won just one of their last six Premier League games. N’Golo Kante joins Tammy Abraham on the injury list, further worsening Frank Lampard’s grip on the fourth spot.
The Blues’ loss yesterday opened up a number of possibilities for the teams below them. Apart from Tottenham, Sheffield United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United and Everton are all within touching distance of Lampard’s side. North London rivals Arsenal too have an outside chance, being just seven points worse off in tenth.
If Manchester City’s ban is upheld then it can lead to a sort of mini-league of seven teams vying for two spots.
With the race set to go down to the wire, Tottenham finds themselves in a unique position. Jose Mourinho’s side have the destiny in their own hands with the team set to face all six of their rivals before the end of the season. Not only can we strengthen our position but also directly set others back in their quest.
We take a look at four of these fixtures which could have the most telling impact in our race for Champions League qualification.
1. Tottenham vs Chelsea (Away) (22/02/2020)
The timing of the match could not have come any better for Mourinho. Lampard’s team are currently low on confidence and have just lost N’Golo Kante to injury. The issues with Kepa Arrizabalaga casts a further pallor of gloom around Stamford Bridge where the early season optimism has worn off.
Mourinho will be keen to put his apprentice in his place after losing both of his previous encounters against the Chelsea boss. A victory here will ensure that Spurs break into the top four at the expense of Chelsea. Something thought of as improbable prior to Mourinho’s appointment.
2. Tottenham vs Wolverhampton Wanderers (Home) (01/03/2020)
Wolves are a tough team to play against and have the ability to give a shock on their night. They defeated Manchester City at the Etihad and ran Liverpool close at Anfield.
It will by no means be an easy fixture with Nuno Espirito Santo’s side boasting of the likes of Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez. A victory here will be well earned and will further cement our hold on the fourth spot if we beat Chelsea the weekend prior.
3. Tottenham vs Manchester United (Home) (15/03/2020)
How Mourinho will relish being the person to deny Ole Gunnar Solksjaer a top-four finish. The Norwegian got the better of the Portuguese when the two sides met at Old Trafford.
United have performed reasonably well against the top sides, with Solksjaer setting the team up well for the counter. The absence of Marcus Rashford should, however, come as an advantage to Tottenham. Mourinho will hope that Spurs will defend set-pieces better and deny United the space to run into. A victory here will be seen both as a personal and a collective mission by the Tottenham boss.
4. Tottenham vs Sheffield United (Away) (04/04/2020)
Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United are a brilliantly organized team who are hard to break down. They also have the second-best defensive record after Liverpool. With Harry Kane injured and Heung-Min Son set to undergo surgery this week, the likes of Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwjin will have to step up if Tottenham are to break down the disciplined Blades backline.
More Tottenham Hotspur News
- Jose Mourinho jokes about 2018 title as Manchester City sanctions loom
- Ole Gunnar Solksjarer to target Harry Winks in the summer
- Tottenham keen on 1.FC Koln defender Ismail Jakobs
Sheffield gave Spurs a good fight in the 1-1 draw at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium earlier in the season and the players will do well not to take them lightly. Jose Mourinho’s side return to Champions League action this week with the Round of 16 first leg against RB Leipzig at home.
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