Champions League spot sparks North London confrontation

Tottenham Hotspur currently occupies fourth position and the last Champions League spot on the English Premier League table. Three points and a +8 goal difference margin separate them from eternal rivals, Arsenal in fifth place. Rivalries borne out of gunning for the same prize is what has kept the North London rivalry ticking over. A similar photo finish to the 2005\2006 season had Tottenham heading to their final day fixture in fourth place, a point ahead of Arsenal. They only needed to match Arsenal’s result to finish fourth and cling on to the last Champions League spot. Tottenham was undone by a bizarre illness that left almost their entire team unfit for action, eventually going down to a 2-1 defeat at West Ham. Arsenal duly capitalized and a Thierry Henry hattrick secured a 4-2 win over Wigan in the last ever match played at their famous Highbury ground.

Arsenal

With 7 games to the end of the season, Arsenal would have looked at their fixture list and a wave of optimism about nicking a Champions League spot would have swept over them. After 31 games, they had 63 points, two more than Tottenham after a similar number of games. They also had a relatively easier run-in than the rest of the teams in the top 6. Games against the likes of Everton, Watford, Crystal Palace, Wolves, Leicester, Brighton, and Burnley would not have filled Gunners with trepidation. Their implosion since then has been nothing short of catastrophic, winning only once in their last six fixtures. It took a draw in their last home game against Brighton to punctuate what had been a three-game losing streak. Now, they need a large margin win away to Burnley in their last fixture and a Tottenham loss to nick the last Champions League spot.

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham would also be in a state of bewilderment as to how they head into the last matchday without having sealed their Champions League spot. Three defeats in their last four league outings ensure that they go into the final matchday on tenterhooks. A tough looking home fixture against an in-form Everton side would be the last thing the Londoners would be looking forward to at this stage of the season. However, their task is the easier of the two, commanding a three-point lead and a +8goals advantage, they only need a draw to be absolutely sure of having nicked the final Champions League spot. A low margin loss and Arsenal not being able to score a bucketful of goals against Burnley to nullify their positive goal differential would see them through too.

Champions league spot through victories in European competitions

Both clubs could yet qualify for the Champions League even if they miss out by virtue of their league placing if they win the respective European competitions, they are competing in. Arsenal is two games away from a Europa League triumph having secured a 3-1 first leg semi-final victory over Valencia. They need to find a way to preserve this advantage when they take on Valencia in the second leg for the chance of final glory. Victory in the Europa League guarantees the winner automatic entry into the group stages of the Champions League for the following year. The question now is, have the Gunners switched the eggs of their quest for Champions League qualification into the single basket of a Europa League triumph?

Tottenham would be the more desperate of the two sides heading into their final matchday fixture against Everton at their glittering new stadium. Victory in the Champions League guarantees automatic entry back into the competition for the next season. However, a first-leg home defeat against a young and enterprising Ajax side would have rendered such hopes forlorn now and they might want to seize their chances in the league.

Betting against Tottenham

Despite all twists and turns lately, Tottenham now has the Champions League place more or less already secured. But despite that, there are still a lot of uncertainties regarding their current form. With the Champions League semi-finals second leg on Wednesday and a very compact schedule lately, the Spurs players are tired and there are a lot of players injured. That is why we think that a bet against Tottenham could prove successful. There are a lot of sports betting sites in Kenya that offers good money on an Everton win.

Hence, our conclusion is that Spurs will make it Top4 and maybe even to the finals of Champions League, but that Everton stands a good chance of at least drawing away against a fatigued Spurs.