As many as four teams are still in the race to fight for the fourth spot on the Premier League table but according to Wayne Rooney, Spurs or Arsenal will grab that elusive spot.
The top-four race has been blown wide open once again after Arsenal’s loss to Crystal Palace on Monday and this result has given a glimmer of hope to teams like Manchester United and West Ham United.
Theoretically, these two sides are still capable of making it into the top four but according to Wayne Rooney, the race will now be between the two North London sides.
“I think it’s Arsenal or Tottenham. It’s between the two of them,” he said on Sky Sports.
“I look at Manchester United’s form of late, I don’t think they’re going to challenge for it. It’s between Tottenham and Arsenal and I think Tottenham have got the experience in the squad, I give them the upper hand.
“It’s almost like no one wants that fourth place. I think that’s the inconsistency of the teams below Manchester City and Liverpool.
“I think they’ve set the marker. They’re two incredible teams who perform every week, and the teams below them, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham, they are a little bit inconsistent and that shows in their league position.”
Are Arsenal and Spurs set for a showdown?
There’s no denying that both these sides have a big advantage over Man United and West Ham but none of these sides have been consistent this season so we expect all of them to drop points. Tottenham and West Ham have lost 10 matches each, followed by Arsenal(9) and then Manchester United(7).
West Ham United and United have seen a dip in form during the second half of the season and at the same time, the two North London sides have picked up their performances.
Tottenham have created the most chances from open play crosses in the Premier League (1.9) under Antonio Conte. A shift from 0.7 per game under Nuno Espírito Santo which was the least in the league at the time. @TheAthleticUK pic.twitter.com/2FeBny1yR2
— The Spurs Express (@TheSpursExpress) April 6, 2022
Despite the loss to Palace, Arsenal are currently the bookmakers’ favourite to grab that 4th spot but they have suffered a few injury setbacks in the past week and this could turn out to be a gamechanger. Arteta is working with a very small squad so any major injury and the manager won’t be able to name his strongest XI.
Man United and West Ham United will be hoping that Arsenal and Spurs drop points in the coming weeks but they themselves have to play so very tough matches. West Ham United’s still in the Europa League so Moyes will also have one eye on that as well. United have drawn as many as nine games this season so consistency is something, we really don’t expect from them right now.
In the end, we think Spurs might just nick this one since they have perhaps the most winnable schedule amongst other suitors. They have to play Liverpool and a key North London Derby but apart from these two games, all of their other matches should be regulation wins.
Unless Conte’s side massively implodes during the crunch part of the season, we think they should be the one who will be able to get back into the Champions League next season – via a top-four spot.