Tottenham: Antonio Conte sent strong message before Arsenal clash

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte urges his players to calm down

Tottenham need to beat Arsenal in the north London derby on Thursday to keep their top-four hopes alive, according to Sky Sports reporter Michael Bridge.

With both clubs vying for a place in next season’s Champions League, it is shaping up to be a crunch clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

What’s the current situation heading into Thursday’s game?

At one stage in April, it looked like Spurs were in pole position to claim fourth spot after they claimed three successive wins, while Arsenal were beaten by Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton in consecutive weeks.

However, the tables have turned in the last four matches for both sides. Antonio Conte’s side have only picked up five points from these fixtures, while the Gunners have collected maximum points after getting the better of Chelsea, Manchester United, West Ham and Leeds.

This has left Mikel Arteta’s men four points above their rivals with three games of the season left to play.

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What has Bridge said about the north London derby?

Bridge has made it clear that only a win will suffice for Tottenham when they host Arsenal.

He has hinted that a victory for Spurs could provide them with the momentum that they need to overhaul Arsenal in the table in the final days of the season.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT about Tottenham’s approach to the game, Bridge said: “They know what they need to do now, they’ve got to beat Arsenal. I think it will come down to that game, I really do. It just comes down to Tottenham having to win on Thursday. It’s as simple as that.”

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Will Tottenham be favourites for the top-four if they beat Arsenal?

If Tottenham manage to get past Arsenal, they will reduce the gap between the two sides to just a single point, setting up a mouthwatering final week of the season.

Indeed, it could be argued that Spurs have the easier final two games on paper compared to their neighbours.

They are due to host Burnley on Sunday, whose purple patch of form may be over after they were swatted aside by Aston Villa on Saturday, before they travel to already-relegated Norwich on May 22.

Meanwhile, Arsenal still need to play Eddie Howe’s Newcastle side at St James’ Park, prior to hosting an Everton team currently battling for their lives on the final day.

Teams often talk about putting points on the board, so Arsenal would still be in the favourable position even if they did lose to Tottenham. However, a defeat for Arteta’s side would crank up the pressure, and give Spurs confidence that they can overcome the deficit and snatch the final Champions League place.

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