It has been a mixed season so far for Tottenham Hotspur, with the Lilywhites performing well in the league amid disappointment in the domestic cups and the wait to move to their new stadium.
A dip in form of late has meant Spurs have gone from Premier League title contenders to battling to stay in the top four, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side needing to find their feet again quickly as arch-rivals Arsenal, along with Manchester United and Chelsea, are hot on their heels.
With eight games left, 24 points are on the table and the highest tally that Spurs can now achieve is 85, with Arsenal capable of reaching a tally of 84 while United and Chelsea can accumulate 82 and 81 points respectively.
However, it is impossible for all of the top-four hopefuls to enjoy a 100 per cent record as United and Chelsea still have to face each other in a crunch tie of April 28 – which hands Spurs a significant boost.
It is certain to be a nervy finish but when could Tottenham seal another season in the Champions League? And when can Spurs seal a spot above Arsenal for the third year in a row? We’ve taken the numbers and had a look.
The earliest date
Tottenham could theoretically clinch Champions League football on April 24 with three games left to play but it would require a major sequence of results in their favour.
The Lilywhites would have to win all five of their fixtures during that period, including their clashes with title-chasing duo Liverpool and Manchester City, while they would also need United and Chelsea to struggle.
For an early-end to the top-four chase for Tottenham, they would require United to pick up only eight points from their next five games and would need Chelsea to pick up nine – which, admittedly, is not inconceivable.
However, the fact that Spurs would have to beat Liverpool and City, along with Crystal Palace, Huddersfield Town and Brighton, means it’s likely the race will extend beyond this date.
The likely scenario
Tottenham will hope that the clash between Manchester United and Chelsea on April 28 deals a significant blow to the top-four hopes of one or both sides, although the top-four race is still likely to extend into May.
For Spurs to clinch Champions League football on this date, they would likely need to hit a points total of 79, winning their six games, which, for the reasons above, seems unlikely again. Therefore, we head into the penultimate weekend.
With a three-point lead over United and a four-point lead over Chelsea, Spurs just need to match the pair’s results until the end of the season to qualify for the Champions League and, if they do, a top-four finish would be secured on the penultimate weekend of the season – May 4.
Finishing above Arsenal
As well as the fight for Champions League football, Tottenham will also have their eye on rivals Arsenal as they will be desperate to finish above their north London rivals for the third season in a row – especially given the fact they had a significant advantage over Unai Emery’s side not too long ago.
The danger is that Arsenal’s remaining fixtures are a lot more favourable than Spurs’, although there are still difficult fixtures for the Gunners with trips to face the likes of Wolves, Watford, Everton and Leicester City.
Like the top-four race, Tottenham need to equal Arsenal’s results between now and the end of the season to finish above the Gunners but that would see the fight between the north London pair extend to the final day on May 12.
The earliest Spurs can clinch a spot above Arsenal is April 21, though they would need to win their next four games, with the Gunners picking up no more points by that date.
That seems unlikely though, and with Spurs facing some difficult games before then, the battle between the north London rivals is likely to extend into at least late April, if not May.
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