Tottenham enjoyed a very good weekend in the top-four race as they moved ahead of fierce rivals Arsenal and into the final Champions League spot. Mikel Arteta’s men went into the weekend three points ahead of Spurs and with their goal difference better by two, yet they now find themselves level on points and with their goal difference five worse off than Antonio Conte’s men following an incredible seven-goal swing.
Spurs made it five wins in six Premier League games with a 5-1 triumph over Newcastle United to pile the pressure on Arsenal, before the Gunners then fell to a 3-0 defeat across the capital at Crystal Palace. Speaking on Monday Night Football, Wayne Rooney outlined how damaging the defeat at Selhurst Park could be for Arsenal and the importance of their reaction.
“Yeah it [the defeat] can be damaging but I’m sure Mikel Arteta will be working now on the reaction and making sure they put this game to the back of the mind,” he explained. “They’ve got a lot of important games coming up and they’re in pole position still but I just think that they have so many young players that it might hurt them and I think Tottenham are a little bit more experienced and that might help Tottenham get over the line.”
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So where exactly could the top-four race be won or lost between now and the end of the season? football.london takes a look.
Saturday, April 9
Arsenal vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Aston Villa vs Tottenham
This weekend is a key one in terms of the top-four battle as Tottenham look to keep motoring on and Arsenal attempt to get back on track. The reaction from Arteta’s side is going to be so important and they will be hoping there is one when out-of-form Brighton visit the Emirates.
Without a win in their last seven Premier League games, you have to go back to the start of February for their last victory which came away at Watford. Tottenham, on the other hand, face a big game with a trip to Aston Villa, who will be looking to end their run of three successive defeats.
Tuesday, April 19
Liverpool vs Manchester United
Wednesday, April 20
Chelsea vs Arsenal
Following Manchester United’s trip to Liverpool 24 hours earlier, Arsenal’s game in hand will take place later this month when they head over to west London to take on Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. The Blues are on course to finish third but they know they cannot afford a repeat of their 4-1 loss vs Brentford as Tottenham and Arsenal aren’t too far behind them at all.
Saturday, April 23
Arsenal vs Manchester United
Brentford vs Tottenham
Tottenham will be keeping one eye on the result in the midday game at the Emirates Stadium before they travel to Brentford later that evening. Given Arsenal do face Chelsea prior to hosting Man United, the Gunners potentially slipping up in both could hand Spurs a huge opportunity to take control in the race for fourth providing they don’t trip up themselves along the way.
Sunday, April 24
Chelsea vs West Ham
David Moyes’ Hammers certainly shouldn’t be ruled out of the top-four race just yet as they are only three points behind Tottenham and Arsenal. Key to sealing fourth, however, is going to be picking up maximum points against the Premier League’s best.
Sunday, May 1
West Ham vs Arsenal
Another crunch game in the race for fourth will take place at the start of May when West Ham and Arsenal meet at the London Stadium. With both harbouring top-four ambitions, it is a contest no side can afford to lose.
Saturday, May 7
Liverpool vs Tottenham
All eyes will be on Anfield in May when Liverpool and Tottenham meet under the lights. The hosts will need maximum points in their title chase, while Spurs can’t exactly afford to slip up along the way as they look to pip Arsenal, Manchester United and West Ham to fourth.
Thursday, May 12
Tottenham vs Arsenal
Originally pencilled in for the middle of January, Tottenham and Arsenal will finally meet at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 10 days before the season draws to a close. Providing of course that the teams are still within touching distance of one another, the showdown in N17 could prove decisive to who finishes fourth and who misses out on Europe’s premier competition.
Sunday, May 15
Tottenham vs Burnley
West Ham vs Man City
Monday, May 16
Newcastle vs Arsenal
All will still be hoping to be in the top-four mix come the penultimate round of Premier League fixtures. Tottenham’s game against Burnley may look straightforward on paper but the Clarets may need the points in their battle to stay in the top flight, whereas Man City will travel to West Ham needing a win as they look to retain their Premier League title.
Sunday, May 22
Arsenal vs Everton
Brighton vs West Ham
Crystal Palace vs Manchester United
Norwich City vs Tottenham
The top-four race could potentially be done and dusted by the time the final game comes around. However, if it isn’t, all four sides will believe they have winnable games, although Arsenal may come up against an Everton side in desperate need of the points to maintain their top-flight status..