Can Spurs win the league? We’ll find out this week
Frank Monkhouse | 5 April 2017
Title race brought back to life
Only last week football punters were counting down the days until Chelsea were crowned Premier League winners. It looked fully deserved, if a little dull, with fans denied the usual drama attached to following the English top-flight at this time of year.
Fast forward to the first Monday in April and we look to have a race for top-spot on our hands. Spurs haven’t gone away, putting together a recent run reading seven wins and two draws from their last 10 league starts, hoping to cement second-place. They thought their London neighbours were over the hill and off into the sunset.
Difficult week for Conte
Tottenham won again at the weekend, beating Burnley 2-0, but across at Stamford Bridge we saw another capital city club have the biggest say of all – Crystal Palace. The Eagles pulled off a stunning 2-1 win over Chelsea on Saturday – you may have heard it mentioned – meaning there’s now just seven points between first and second.
Still a chunky gap, but with Chelsea playing Man City on Wednesday, and Tottenham matching relegation-threatened Swansea, there’s every chance that lead could be snipped to four. Spurs then open Saturday’s round with a home match vs lowly Watford, so by the time Chelsea travel to Bournemouth for the evening kick-off, there could be a single point in it.
There’s a lot of ifs and buts in that scenario, but it is very possible. Firstly, let’s look at the chances of Man City beating Chelsea on Wednesday. They did leave with all three points in convincing fashion when last stopping by, with a stunning Aguero hat-trick sealing a 3-0 cheer. In fact, their last six trips to Stamford Bridge has seen them lose just twice. That makes Coral’s 2/1 on a Man City win look big enough.
Spurs need to win without Kane
Now, can Spurs do their part, without wonder boy Harry Kane, no less? They have missed his spark of late, and have had to roll up their sleeves and battle for the points a bit more than they’re probably used to, but they do go into the midweek chasing five in-a-row.
The betting has them nailed on 1/4 shots to beat Watford on Saturday, and rightly so, they did smash The Hornets 4-1 at Vicarage Road earlier in the season. In midweek they are also taken to bypass Swansea with minimal fuss. Coral have a Spurs win at 8/11. Again, not a shock, as they won 5-0 when last facing off against the Welsh club, Kane getting two, Eriksen getting two, and Heung-min Son only managing the one.
After 30 games played, Paul Clement’s side have been dragged back into the relegation fight, and sit just a point better than Hull in the bottom-three. The Tigers fancy a cat fight too, winning two of their last three. Swansea are winless in three, letting the nerves get to them, it would seem. They lost to both Hull and Bournemouth, before failing to see off a poor Boro on Sunday, ending in a horrible 0-0 draw.
That puts the pressure on Chelsea to deliver. Beat City and they will be fully deserving of their day in the sun down King’s Road.