With the Premier League set to return this weekend, we continue to ponder and speculate as the world’s most exciting league approaches its conclusion in May. Today, we take a closer look at Spurs’ chances of winning their first ever Premier League title.
Tottenham Hotspur: The story so far
Tottenham Hotspur’s FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace at the weekend was a small blip on an otherwise splendid season so far for the North London club. With a last 32 Europa League tie with Fiorentina (second leg) and a crucial Premier League match-up with local rivals Arsenal on the horizon in March, Spurs’ untimely exit from the FA Cup could indeed prove to be a blessing in disguise.
Relatively speaking, this is the closest the Lilywhites have come to winning Premier League silverware ever since the competition was inaugurated back in 1992. Even under Harry Redknapp’s successful reign as manager of the club, Spurs were never placed higher than third in the league at this late stage in the season.
Can Spurs go the whole nine yards and achieve the unthinkable this time?
Pundits would certainly argue that they have a side well-placed to topple the established hierarchy. In Harry Kane they have a striker with an innate ability to score a goal completely out of nothing and in Christian Eriksen they possess a play-maker who would be vying for a starting spot in most, if not all of Europe’s elite clubs.
How are their rivals shaping up?
Arsenal’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Leicester City almost two weeks ago arguably put Arsene Wenger’s men in the driving seat with only a third of the season left to play. Whilst still two points adrift of this year’s surprise package Leicester City, the luxury of strength-in-depth and indeed invaluable experience in title run-ins such as these may just tip the odds in Arsenal’s favour.
Whilst the Foxes’ aforementioned loss at the Emirates on Valentine’s Day would have come as a hammer blow to their confidence, it’s important to remember that they are after all, still top of the English Premier League. With a very winnable home tie against Norwich City on Saturday afternoon, a victory over the Canaries would be just what the Doctor ordered as Claudio Ranieri’s side look to bounce back from their Arsenal heart-break (no Valentine’s Day pun intended).
March 5th aka Groundhog Day
It goes without saying that when both Spurs and Arsenal clash at White Hart Lane on March 5th, the outcome of this game will have huge connotations for this year’s title race. With both these sides neck-and-neck in terms of points totals (although Spurs do have the superior goal difference) this game is the very definition of a ‘six-pointer’. With Arsene Wenger’s men typically having the upper hand in North London derbies in recent times (sans Spurs’ 2-1 win at White Hart Lane last season), Spurs will yet again have to pull out all the stops should they wish to walk away with a result a week on Saturday.
So what’s the verdict, can Spurs win the Premier League?
In short, yes. Spurs can win the Premier League but do we think they will win the Premier League? Unfortunately for the Lillywhites, the answer is no. With their rivals in red from across the way possessing that extra iota of quality and experience in tight title races such as these, we feel it will be Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal lifting the Premier League trophy come May, with hearty battlers Spurs coming in at a very commendable second.
Author – Andrew MacFarlane