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As the season draws to what can only be described as the most exciting yet strangely under par finale, it is not only who claims top spot that is at the forefront of Premiership supporters minds. It is who will claim the all important fourth place and who will be in with a shout of competing in next years Champions League that seems to have taken centre stage.
With Liverpool out of the running it is for the first time since 2004/2005 season that the ‘Big Four’ will not be together at the head of the table. The big question is however, who will be taking Liverpool’s place?
The two teams in question are Harry Redknapp’s rejuvenated Tottenham team who only a year previous were struggling to hold down a place in the top half of the league and Manchester City who continue to meet the high expectations placed on them at the start of the season.
As things stand it could not be any closer with Tottenham sat one point ahead of City two goals to the better on goal difference. Although Manchester City have lost fewer games in this campaign Tottenham have won more and it is a win that will ultimately make all the difference this Wednesday evening.
The odds narrowly favour City to win the match mainly due to them being the home side but being one point behind it is Manchester City who are doing the chasing. A draw would be enough to keep Spurs ahead and with both teams playing relatively easy fixtures this weekend would place them in a poll position to clinch fourth place, put simply City need to win on Wednesday night or they will find themselves praying that relegated Burnley can pull off a miraculous result against Tottenham at the weekend.
Spurs emphatically won the last league encounter between the two in December by 3-0, with goals from Niko Kranjkar (2) and Jermaine Defoe but previous meetings count for nothing as this match will certainly be treated in the same manner as any cup final.
The prize for the team that does finish fourth is a place in the qualifying rounds for next season Champion’s League and all the financial bonuses that come with it. Should it go Tottenham’s way it would be the first time that they have played Champion’s League football and it will be a massive reward for all the hard work the squad and manager Harry Redknapp have put in.
The only worry being do Spurs have the quality and depth in their squad to launch a realistic attack on European glory. At the minute you would lean towards thinking no they don’t but the potential is certainly there and with the transfer market talents that their gaffer ‘Big Arry’ possesses then anything could happen.
However if it was to go in Manchester City’s favour then the Premiership should ready itself for a massive shake up. The team that City could potentially put together next season is mouth watering. The incredible amount of money that Mancini’s men have available to them coupled with the incentive of Champion’s League football next season would be able to form a team that can only be left to any football fans wildest imagination.
This would surely only improve the standard of football in the Premiership next season wouldn’t it? Or would it just confirm that money can buy glory and put pay to the hard work and team togetherness approach that Spurs have so eloquently created this season?
Whatever the outcome the race for fourth is about to embark on the final straight and it is set to be a photo finish.