With only a handful of games remaining, we are looking at the remaining fixtures to come and deciding which teams will impact the top four standings come May 22nd.
After this week’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool, Tottenham turn their attention to Thursday’s North London derby as they look to stay in touch with the top four race.
Spurs defended diligently at Anfield and could even have come away with all three points on another night. However, Antonio Conte’s side now must rely on other results if they are to play Champions League football next season.
Arsenal and Spurs have been creeping to within touching distance of Chelsea, who could only pick up a point against Wolves on Saturday afternoon.
On paper, Thomas Tuchel’s side have three winnable fixtures to see out their season. But, with Arsenal and Spurs now just one and five points behind Chelsea, respectively, they cannot afford many slip-ups.
Firstly, a visit to relegation-threatened Leeds United. While it may seem easy on paper, the Yorkshire side will be motivated to preserve their top-flight status and so the task may be tougher than expected.
This is followed by the visit of Leicester City to Stamford Bridge. Having succumbed to Jose Mourinho’s Roma in the UEFA Conference League Semi-Final, Leicester may already have one eye on their summer holidays.
However, Brendan Rodgers’ side boasts an array of talent that can hurt any team on their day, and so should never be written off.
A final-day clash with a relegated Watford should prove an easy win for Chelsea as they will look to end the season in style.
It may be fair to assume that Arsenal have the toughest run-in out of the three London rivals. The Gunners, of course, make the short trip to N17 to play a North London derby on Thursday.
In the penultimate game of their season, Mikel Arteta’s men travel to Tyneside to face off against a Newcastle United side who have impressed on home soil. Finally, they play host to Everton who could easily be fighting for their survival on the final day.
After Spurs host their rivals on Thursday evening, their final home game comes against Burnley, who ran out 1-0 victors in the reverse fixture.
A trip to relegated Norwich City should offer a smooth final day outing for Conte and his side, however, Spurs fans will fearingly recall the 5-1 loss at the hands of Newcastle in the 2015-16 season.
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Assessing the final fixtures, it is clear Chelsea are in the driving seat to secure their Champions League qualification. Even if the uncertainty surrounding the club has affected the team’s performances, it would take a disaster for the Blues to slip into fifth place.
The teams fighting to avoid the final relegation spot, namely Leeds, Everton, and Burnley, all have a role to play in deciding who claims that coveted fourth place.
The North London derby is a must-win game for both sides and the team who triumphs on Thursday night should have the momentum to propel themselves into a strong finish.
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