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Spurs need to pick up points against their top-four rivals.

Tottenham's progress could be revealed at Manchester City

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The weekend's title head-to-heads could be the biggest indicator yet of how the table will look at the end of the season.

Valentine's Day sees Spurs travel to Manchester City, while league-leaders Leicester face Arsenal, but there will be no love lost between the Premier League's top four, all of whom are now harbouring serious ambitions of silverware.

Unpredictable season

Flying high in second - even prompting a dizzy spell for Dele Alli - Spurs sit four places higher than they were at the same stage last year. However, they are actually just five points better off, and are benefiting from the unpredictable nature of this season's league.

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While Mauricio Pochettino's men have undoubtedly developed as a unit over the last 12 months, particularly in defence, their rivals' erratic form has made it difficult to put any kind of meaningful measure on that progress.

The Manchester City fixture will give them a chance to prove themselves as serious title contenders, after Leicester's own 3-1 triumph at the Etihad. Regardless of the Leicester-Arsenal result, Spurs cannot go top this weekend, but if they were to close the gap, they would surely start to be taken seriously

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Lack of belief

Both Tottenham and Leicester suffer from a similar complex, perhaps a not entirely self-inflicted belief that Manchester City and Arsenal will still be favourites right up until the end of the season, simply because they are more accustomed to being in this position.

So far, Spurs have taken a reasonable five points off the other sides in the top four - including a 4-1 thrashing of Manchester City at White Hart Lane. However, they have arguably the most difficult run-in between now and May, and may well need to improve on that if they are to find themselves at the top of the tree.

Banana skins 

Aside from the City game, they face Arsenal and Manchester United at home, before travelling to Chelsea, Stoke and Liverpool, all of which present potential slip-ups despite their on-off form.

Sunday’s fixtures could see Spurs ultimately drop back down to fourth, which would be disheartening given their current position, though not fatal. If they are to believe they are capable of a shot at the title, however, Pochettino's side must avoid defeat on Sunday to take advantage of their best chance at glory in decades.

Colchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round

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Topics:
Leicester City
Mauricio Pochettino
Premier League
Manchester City
Gareth Bale
Football
Tottenham Hotspur

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