Tottenham Hotspur have had a season filled with highs and lows, triumphs, and catastrophes. But there is still that feeling that there is unfinished business in the heart of North London.
Spurs had an electric start to the 2020/21 campaign; they sat top of the Premier League as November climaxed, having triumphed against Manchester City 2-0.
Continuously, Spurs deployed similar tactics against Arsenal a few weeks later. A devastating display from Son and Harry Kane saw Spurs claim bragging rights against their bitter rivals.
The turn of the year saw a change in fortunes for the club. Seemingly lacking in passion and drive, they dropped points against Fulham, Brighton, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, West Ham, and Arsenal.
As well as this, Spurs were embarrassingly dumped out of the Europa League in the Round of 16 against Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb. The London club held a 2-0 advantage after the first leg. However, they collapsed in the second, losing 3-0 and exiting the competition.
This result summarised Spurs’ performances in 2021, which had seen them drop down to sixth.
However, Spurs now sit 3 points off fourth-placed Chelsea and have a considerably lenient run towards the end of the season.
There are crucial games still to come in the league. This is alongside a colossal Carabao Cup final against Manchester City on the 25th of April.
It would take a genius to be able to predict how the rest of this topsy turvy season will pan out, mainly due to the unpredictability of Spurs. However, I will look ahead to the crunch games and highlight what I think will happen.
Tottenham vs Manchester United – 11th April 2021
The first huge game in Spurs’ remaining calendar comes in just 2 weeks. After Spurs face Newcastle they host Manchester United in what could be a crucial game in the race for the top 4.
United will be hoping talisman Bruno Fernandes can add to his 16 goals and 10 assists in the league this season, to help United cement a place in next season’s Champions League competition (transfermrkt).
On the other hand, Spurs may once again rely on a counter-attacking style of play to avoid being caught out by United’s high press and exceptional wing play.
The reverse fixture saw Spurs smash United 1-6 at Old Trafford, but I cannot see a repeat this time around.
Everton vs Tottenham – 16th April 2021
Just five days after the battle with United, Spurs head to Merseyside, as they face Everton in another massive game.
Everton currently sit 8th in the league, 2 points behind Spurs but with a game in hand. This makes this tie huge if Spurs are going to have any hope of finishing in the top 4.
Everton dumped Spurs out of the FA Cup earlier in the season. Therefore, Mourinho’s men will approach this one with a vengeance and a game plan, which will help avoid a repeat of what happened in February.
I can see a high press from Spurs in this one, and a masterclass in finishing from Harry Kane, to secure all three points for Spurs.
Manchester City vs Tottenham (Carabao Cup Final) – 25th April 2021
This is undoubtedly the biggest game of the season for Spurs. Following a 3-0 defeat at the Etihad in February, most Spurs fans will have told you then that there was less than a 1% chance that we lift the Carabao Cup at the end of April.
City have undoubtedly been the best team in England this season. They are still on for the quadruple, which is frightening, to say the least.
However, Pep Guardiola’s side may have a potential Champions League Semi-Final tie against either Bayern Munich or PSG just 3 days after the tie at Wembley.
Therefore, Pep may rotate his squad. The trophy he has won the last four years in a row may not be as much as a priority as that elusive Champions League trophy.
Having said that, I think even with a rotated squad, City’s attacking football will be too much for Mourinho, but it will go down to the wire.
Prediction: 3-2 (AET).
Tottenham v Aston Villa – 15th May 2021
Should Spurs win their final home game of the season, it could set up a clash of the titans against rivals Leicester on the last day.
Having eased past Villa only a few weeks ago, they may have to deal with the return of Jack Grealish for the reverse fixture.
As one of the most prolific midfielders in the league, Grealish would undoubtedly unleash many problems on a shaky defence. This could create an entertaining tie at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Leicester City v Tottenham – 23rd May 2021
The final game of the season is being lined up to have astronomical repercussions for both sides. Leicester are known for wobbling towards the end of the campaign.
With the run that Chelsea are on under Thomas Tuchel, Leicester could be the team that end up occupying that desired 4th place in the league.
Should Spurs keep themselves within touching distance of the East Midlands club, this game could be finely poised. Champions League qualification could come down to the 90 minutes at the King Power Stadium.
Leicester triumphed earlier in the season, but the question remains as to whether or not they have the bottle to hold on to 4th.
Spurs will throw everything at it. Only time will tell if it is enough to squeeze them in amongst Europe’s elite next season.
Overall, it will be extremely fine margins to decide who occupies Europe next season. It will come down to consistency. Based on the performances I have seen recently from Spurs, I believe they will just miss out on fourth. However, I think they will get back into the Europa League positions, coming in at fifth.
This would be an improvement on last season’s finish. Nevertheless, it would still leave question marks over Mourinho’s management position. Also, what Harry Kane’s role at the club will be in the following year.
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