Football

Premier League: Champions League contenders

Can the sides from north London secure Champions League qualification?  (©GettyImages)
Can the sides from north London secure Champions League qualification? (©GettyImages).

The race for the final two places in the top four is becoming quite heated with only six-points separating third from sixth. It is probably the tightest race in recent Premier League history.

Here we analyse the four teams and examine whether or not they can make the top-four or whether they will be left rueing their missed chance.

Tottenham

Tottenham have been terrific this season, largely down to the ver impressive Gareth Bale but they are not just a one man team. Vertonghen has been strong at the back with Dawson and Lennon has arguably had his best season to date. 

Their run in isn't easy as they still have to face Everton Chelsea and Manchester City. Therefore their chances of finishing in the top-four are how they manage to handle these occasions. 

However, out of these three difficult fixtures, two are at home and the crowd could largely influence the team’s performance. Their depth is squad is probably weaker than other teams involved in the battle, but they will always have a good chance as long as Bale remains fit. 

They need to have a sense of collective belief that they are better than the teams around them and that they deserve to win difficult games and therefore a place in the top four. Their continued involvement in the Europa League could have an influence on their league form, if they continue to progress in this competition.

Andre Villas-Boas will have to ensure he maintains the squad’s fitness and performance throughout the rest of the season and provide the motivation needed to cross the finishing line in a positive position.

Chelsea

Last year Chelsea had to rely on winning the Champions League to gain qualification, this year that isn't an option after being knocked out and having to enter the Europa League. 

The other issue with being in the Europa league is a build-up of fixtures and the fact that they are played on a Thursday night giving less time for the squad to be able to recuperate.

In addition to this due to their continuous involvement in the FA Cup their league form has suffered, they need to be able to balance the cup competitions with their league performances.

This issue is not made any easier when Torres and Ba can't seem to score and they are beginning to gain an over reliance on Mata and Hazard. However, Chelsea definitely have enough quality in their squad to enable them to gain a top four finish. 

The spine of the team is very strong; containing players such as Cech, Ivanovic and Mata would allow a team to compete for a top four position in any competition. 

They are a team that has been there and done it, they need to use al there experience in the next couple of months to gain the results needed to gain a Champions League place.

Arsenal

To imagine a Champions League without Arsenal is to imagine fish without chips, they just have to go hand in hand, although this year will be Arsenal’s toughest task yet. 

In some respects they lack the class of previous years, as they have never really replaced the like of Adams, Vieira or Henry, and this has caused this year to be an uphill task. 

However, if any manager can make it happen it is Arsene Wenger. Their shining light has been Santi Cazorla, who is easily one of the signings of the season, he can win games single handed and is a constant threat to the opposing defence.  If they can maintain a chance of gaining a place, their run-in is probably the easiest of all the teams. 

Their last three games are against teams currently occupying a bottom six position which therefore means, if they are ‘there or there abouts’ with three games to go, they have to be favourites to gain a place. By having no cups to focus on could be seen as a blessing in disguise. 

There full concentration is gaining a Champions League place and it will also not impact upon player’s fitness levels.  Don’t be surprised if they do it again, although this shouldn’t paper over the fact they need to invest in the Summer.

Everton

Everton are probably seen as the longest odd at gaining a top-four place, but it would be at ridiculous to ignore them. They have been terrific this year and they easily have a starting 11 that can compete with any team in the league, as they have shown on numerous occasions.

However, it’s their lack in depth which could cost them come the end of the season but they coped against Stoke. The bans to Fellaini and Pienaar could be blessings in disguise, as they will come back fresher and bring a desire to ensure Everton can climb the table to their highest position possible, on a side note this could also determine whether Moyes stays or goes. 

Like Arsenal, Everton’s full concentration is on their league objectives and need to attempt to gain momentum. They play all three of their rivals competing for the Champions League spot, in addition to a local derby away against Liverpool. They have the toughest run-in but could take motivation from last season’s performances by Wigan Athletic.

Obviously in a different situation, but momentum and belief was key to Wigan Athletic's unbelievable run and Everton need to attempt to replicate this. Time will tell if they are able to do it, but with the calibre of their starting 11 and their instrumental manager don’t be surprised if Everton pull off a shock and gain a top four spot. 

 

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeFootball.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeFootball.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
Everton

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