With little left to be resolved in tomorrow’s final Premier League games the big focus will be on who will secure the final Champions League spot.
Tottenham host Sunderland at White Hart Lane, while neighbours Arsenal head to St James Park to take on Newcastle.
The Gunners are in fourth place just a point ahead of their arch-rivals. Arsene Wenger knows that his team have to win to secure that final Champions League spot.
A victory and a Chelsea draw could mean the Gunners taking third place, depending on the size of the victory.
The Gunners have been in fine form in recent weeks and would be expected to win the game on Tyneside, where the Magpies have endured some terrible results in recent games.
Arsenal has been perennial qualifiers for Europe’s elite competition under Wenger. If only they gave out a trophy for finishing in the top four, Arsene Wenger must wish.
Tottenham have enjoyed a very good first season under Andre Villas-Boas, mainly due to the brilliance of star player Gareth Bale. Spurs currently find themselves fifth, despite having been ensconced in the top four for much of the season.
Spurs are in really danger of missing out on the Champions League for a second consecutive season. Tottenham finished fourth last season, but missed out because of Chelsea’s dramatic Champions League triumph.
Andre Villas-Boas has done a decent job at White Hart Lane and it would be a shame for Tottenham to miss out on the top four spots, but it is no longer fully in their hands. An Arsenal win at Newcastle would mean that Tottenham’s result would mean very little to their final league position.
It may be strange to say with Tottenham sitting outside the top four, but I do believe that Spurs have made progress this season under AVB. The Portuguese boss has reshaped the team and with a couple of quality additions in the summer, Tottenham could be major challengers next season.
Of course qualifying for the Champions League has a big effect on club finances and Tottenham would be in a better position if they did finish in the four, than if they did not. They could also attract the bigger name signings. It will be an interesting summer at White Hart Lane whatever happens.
Like most of their games this season, Tottenham will be looking for talisman Gareth Bale to help them to victory over Stoke. The PFA Player of the Year has been the inspirational figure behind Spurs’ season.
Rumours are bound that the Welshman could leave White Hart Lane this summer. Even if Spurs fail to qualify for the Champions League I very much doubt that Bale will leave this summer. However, Bale needs to be playing at the highest level to keep progressing, and the Champions League is the highest level of club football.
Should Spurs fail to qualify for the Champions League next season then he may leave. For now though he seems settled in north London and does not seem to be agitating for a move elsewhere.
Should Chelsea draw 0-0 with Everton and Arsenal win 2-1 then there will be a play-off between the two clubs for third place, as both teams will then have identical records in every way. However, although unlikely it is a realistic possibility.
The Premier League has even arranged a date and venue for the never seen before play-off in the Premier League. I do not think that either team will want to play the play-off, although it would be a great spectacle for the fans.
I do not think that anything will change in the Premier League table on Sunday. I expect Tottenham to defeat Sunderland and Arsenal to win at Newcastle. There may be some twists and turns along the way, but I suspect it will be Spurs that miss out on the Champions League for next season and yet more disappointment for the Spurs faithful.
Who will clinch the final spot in the Champions League for next season?