Arsenal v Tottenham v Newcastle: The Race for Third Place
It seems the competition for third place in the Premier League is now going to be decided on the final day of the season. Here I take a look at each team’s final fixture and their chances of finishing ahead of their rivals.
Arsene Wenger takes his Arsenal side to West Brom knowing that three points will guarantee third spot and a Champions League place.
The Gunners have struggled to find form in the last month, considering the last 3 games have produced just two points.
It’ll be an emotional match considering the fact its Albion’s manager, Roy Hodgson, last game in charge before he joins England ahead of the Euro’s.
Wenger will be boosted by the return to fitness of Theo Walcott. The Arsenal winger’s hamstring injury has coincided with Arsenal’s collapse in form.
Personally, I can’t see Arsenal losing this game, I’d expect them to finish in the 3rd place spot.
Tottenham sit in 4th place, one point behind Arsenal. Harry Redknapp’s side battled back from 1-0 down with 10 men against Aston Villa.
Spurs encountered a period of very poor form coinciding with the resignation of Capello from the England set-up. The speculation linking Harry Redknapp with the national job appeared to have de-railed the squads challenge for Champions League football. Lack of squad rotation and poor tactics have also been blamed, but this is another issue.
However, the Tottenham boss will hope his side has recovered just at the right time. Spurs host Fulham this coming Sunday in a vital game for the London club. Redknapp is anxious to guarantee making the Champions League as Chelsea could take the fourth English qualification spot if they win this month’s final.
Newcastle have already exceeded all expectations this season as Alan Pardew’s side currently sit 2 points behind third place Arsenal. They missed their chance to go ahead of Arsenal on the weekend, after losing to 2-0 to leaders Manchester City.
This Sunday, the Toon need a few results to go their way in order to guarantee a third place finish. Firstly Pardew’s team need 3 points against Everton. They then need to hope that Spurs do not win and that Arsenal lose to West Brom.
Regardless, they are already guaranteed a place in the Europa League, having had their best season since 2003.
Although i’d love to see Newcastle in the Champions League next season, their fate has been taken from their own hands. It’s going to take a lot for both Tottenham and Arsenal to lose on the weekend. Unfortunately they may face missing out on the elite competition altogether.
After a big 4-1 loss to Liverpool, Chelsea now find themselves out of contention for a top four finish. Di Matteo’s men will now finish in 6th place, this cannot be changed in the last game of the season.
Since AVB departed, the Blues performance in both domestic and continental competitions has improved dramatically. However, Chelsea now rely on success in this seasons Champions League final to stand any chance of competing in the cup next term.
The recent FA Cup win, plus the 6th place league finish has already secured a place in the Europa cup. Unfortunately, the clubs fans and owner, Roman Abramovich, will no doubt be unhappy, if their side fail to qualify for the Elite European competition.