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Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur have managed to set up an intense clash against league leaders Chelsea in the semi-final of the FA Cup next month. But they have little chance of catching up on their local rivals in the league competition as they are 10 points off Antonio Conte’s side at the top of the table. Though they have a game in hand, Chelsea do not look like they will slip-up, thus leaving the Spurs to fight only for a place in the top-4. But even that will not be easy with the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool all within 7 points of each other. So what are the chances of Tottenham Hotspur reaching the Champions League next season? Let’s have a look:
With a maximum of 2 cup games left in the season, there is no much necessity of squad depth from now till the end of the season for Pochettino’s side but the injury to Harry Kane might just derail their journey. The English hitman has yet again been in fine form this season scoring 19 goals in the league, which is the highest in the top flight this season so far. He missed 6 weeks of action earlier in the season, which makes his record all more amazing. He has largely carried the goal scoring responsibilities on his shoulders for his side and has been aided well by Dele Alli. However, he might not play more than a couple of games before the end of the season, making this season much tougher for Spurs.
In what is an astonishing stat, the London outfit have won just 1.5 points per game when Kane has not started. He lifts it to 1.8 points per game, which would mean a difference of 4 points from now until the end of the season. This could be the difference between losing out on a place in the top-4 for the Spurs. Summer signing Vincent Janssen has not been able to settle down in England and is far from being the first choice, thereby leaving Heung-Min Son to take up the responsibilities of being the striker for the rest of the season. Though he has been decent, Son is not as good as Kane and will have to overachieve in order to give similar returns.
Southampton, Arsenal and Manchester United at home, Chelsea, Swansea and West Ham are the only testing fixtures in this period for the Spurs and Pochettino will be confident that they can get out of them without dropping too many points. However now with Kane injured, Pochettino will also have to worry about the games against Crystal Palace, Watford, Burnley, Bournemouth and Hull City, where a lack of a target man and a poacher can halt their progress.
With just 3 teams of the top-6 (2 at home) left to play, Spurs should be able to wither the storm of the business end of this season. However, Kane’s absence cannot be undermined and if they fail to find a constant goal scorer, their place in the top-4 might just be on the line.
Do you think the Pochettino’s side will play in the Champions League next season?