Jonathan Woodgate: A top four finish is like winning a title for Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal
According to BBC’s Match Of The Day pundit Jonathan Woodgate, the upcoming North London derby could determine the fate of Tottenhamm Hotspur and Arsenal in the top four race.
Arsenal are currently leading the race for the top four and are currently two points clear of city rivals Tottenham. Both teams have played 34 matches and are left to play only four. Next week, they will go head-on in the Premier League, which could develop into a make or break tie for both teams.
Former Tottenham centre-back Jonathan Woodgate who played for the club from 2008 to 2011, believes that both teams have similar stakes going into the North London derby, and whoever comes victorious on the night will secure the final UEFA Champions League spot.
“It’s absolutely huge, for all sorts of reasons. Like a lot of people, I think whoever wins that game will end up in the Champions League places – but good luck trying to predict who that will be.”
The former English footballer turned BBC pundit suggested qualifying for the Champions League seems to have become a sort of title for both the London based teams. Given that it can aid in their development, it is in either side’s best interests to secure top level continental football.
“It will feel like a cup final because fourth place is like a trophy now for Arsenal and Tottenham, with what being back in the Champions League next season would mean for both clubs.”
Can Tottenham secure a top-four spot this term?
Tottenham are scheduled to play Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday before taking on Arsenal in the Premier League. After the North London derby, they will face Burnley and Norwich City. Even though the later games seem relatively more manageable, the immediate two challenges are daunting.
In contrast, Arsenal are set to face Leeds United , Spurs, Newcastle United and Everton. All the teams are below the Gunners in the Premier League standings and Mikel Arteta’s side will be expected to secure maximum points.
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Spurs have to secure a favourable result against Liverpool to remain in the race. However, that seems a challenging task considering Antonio Conte’s men have to face the Reds at Anfield of all places.