Arsenal and Tottenham’s battle for fourth spot looked as though it would go right down to the wire this season but the Gunners can confirm their place in next season’s Champions League with a win on Thursday night
Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay nowMikel Arteta looks ahead to Tottenham battleByTom Malley
- 08:00, 12 May 2022
In what has been one of the most competitive battles in Premier League history, the race for the top four could all be over on Thursday should Arsenal defeat Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby.
Following Manchester United ’s horrendous run of form in the close season, it was left to Arsenal and Tottenham to decide who would take the final spot in the top four this season, and anything but a win for Spurs would see them blow their chances of finishing above the Gunners.
Former Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle United striker Michael Owen has given his verdict ahead of Thursday’s mouth-watering clash as Arsenal look to secure fourth spot.
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Ahead of this fixture, Arsenal have opened up a four-point gap over Tottenham with three games to play, following a 2-1 victory over Leeds United on Sunday, and another victory here would confirm their Champions League place for next season. Spurs secured a good point away at Liverpool in their 1-1 draw on Saturday, and Owen predicts the same scoreline here.
Speaking to Bet Victor , he said: “I’ve been looking forward to this one for weeks. Spurs may have dropped points at the weekend, but it was an impressive draw at Anfield. You can see what Conte is building, and they aren’t far away from being a very good side.
“For Arsenal, it wasn’t a classic performance, but the win over Leeds was vital in extending their lead over Spurs. Nketiah was in amongst the goals again, he looks a natural finisher. Even a draw would be a good result for Arsenal here. I think that’s what we will see. I’m leaning towards 1-1.”
Michael Owen believes there won't be anything to separate the two sides in the North London derby on Thursday
Do you agree with Michael Owen's prediction for Tottenham vs Arsenal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
The Gunners had lost three games in a row in April to fall three points behind Tottenham at one stage, but they have since gone on to win their next four in order to climb back above their biggest rivals, which included victories over Chelsea, Man Utd and West Ham United.
As a result, Mikel Arteta’s side are now four points clear of Spurs ahead of their final three games of the season, and a victory against their rivals would make it mathematically impossible for them to fall out of the top four before the end of the campaign. Due to Chelsea’s poor run of form of late, the Gunners may still even finish in third.
Like Owen said, a draw wouldn’t be the worst result in the world for Arsenal and it would still effectively see them secure a top four spot, but they would have to defeat Newcastle on Sunday to be sure of it. However, a defeat against Spurs could see things go down to the final day of the season.
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As for Spurs, they know that anything but a win on Thursday night will all but end their chances of a top four finish this season. A defeat would completely end those hopes, while a draw will keep them alive for another week at least, although they have the more favourable of the final two games.
Antonio Conte has produced an impressive turnaround since he took charge in November and his side showed how far they have come with their performance in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Saturday. As good a point as it was, they still fell further behind the Gunners with that draw.
It was all going so well for Spurs before their defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion and then a draw away to Brentford allowed Arsenal to leapfrog them into the top four, but with the deadly front three of Dejan Kulusevski, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in their side, they have every chance of picking up all three points in front of their own fans here.
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