Champions League beckons for Spurs, whilst West Ham can make top 10
The midweek results towards the Premier League summit have been relatively kind to Tottenham, who are now 6/5 to post a top four finish, whilst West Ham’s draw at home to Man United sees them 15/8 to end the campaign inside the top 10 positions. A helpful fixture list means both London clubs have strong claims for making good on those respective wagers.
Despite not playing a game Tottenham will not be too displeased with the results that have transpired in their absence. Arsenal’s draw with Everton was kept the Toffees off their backs and the Gunners within reach – Chelsea’s victory over Fulham was the only less than ideal result.
In drawing with Everton, Spurs’ North London enemies failed to take maximum advantage of their absence and Andre Villas Boas’ men now have a game more than their rivals in which to outpoint them. With the exception of Man City, Spurs remaining games are against relegation strugglers that they should have the quality to beat.
Stoke are woefully out of form, Wigan are mercurial and Southampton and Sunderland may be safe by the time the Lilywhites come calling.
Undeniably this is an acid test of the character within Villas Boas’ callow depleted squad, but the news that Gareth Bale may even be back for the Man City game likely to buoy spirits ahead of the run-in, Tottenham can pinch Champions League football from Arsenal, who have reaffirmed an indecisiveness in front of goal – bound to haunt them soon enough – in recent clashes with Everton and Norwich.
West Ham are beginning to find the form that so pleasantly surprised their supporters earlier in the season once more, with tactically adept away performances a new string to their bow. The Hammers have lost just four home games all season – each against top seven sides – so there’s hope that they can extract a couple of three-pointers out Wigan, Newcastle and Reading.
Of their remaining away games, low-scoring attrition-merchants Everton look tailor made to be frustrated by a side that have avoided defeat in three of their last four matches. Above them three of Fulham’s last five matches are testing fixtures against Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool.
The Cottagers are susceptible to being overhauled, but above them Swansea – despite having a game in hand over the Hammers – have the noxious mixture of one-foot-in-La-Manga syndrome and a murderous remaining six games that includes Manchesters United and City and Chelsea to contend with.