Scrambling for fourth place


Tottenham have an outside chance of nicking the title and (from left) Mousa Dembele, Jan Vertonghen, Kane and Erik Lamela will be hoping to do just that.

EVEN the most experienced in the football world could not have predicted how this English Premier League season would end – especially the fact that Leicester City are a mere three points away from lifting the trophy.

While the Foxes will be hoping to seal the deal tomorrow, they are up against a Manchester United side who are fighting tooth and nail to finish fourth, making this fixture the most anticipated of this weekend.

In their last meet, which ended in a 1-1 draw, Leicester’s Jamie Vardy broke United’s old boy Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record by scoring in his 11th consecutive Premier League match.

While United have secured their place in the FA Cup final, Louis Van Gaal’s future also greatly depends on finishing fourth.

The bright side for the Old Trafford outfit is that they have had a good run of form in recent weeks, which if extended, could prove vital in both lifting at least one trophy this season and qualifying for the Champions League next season.

Vardy will miss the match tomorrow due to suspension, but that would be the least of United’s worries with his replacement Leonardo Ulloa scoring twice against Swansea last week and Riyad Mahrez who will be looking to affirm his stature as PFA Player of the Year.

Given the intensity expected from both teams, Tottenham Hotspur fans will have their fingers crossed as their team are the only ones who still stand a chance to nick the title.

However, while it is still mathematically possible for them to do so, it will be an uphill battle as the Foxes only need three points from the next three matches to end the season as top dogs.

Manchester City and Arsenal are third and fourth, respectively, with equal points. That means they are only five ahead of United, who have a game in hand.

City do have another route to securing a Champions League spot next season – if they go in as defending champions.

But with only three days between their fixtures with Southampton tomorrow and their second leg semifinal against Real Madrid, and another four days after that to their match against Arsenal, the Citizens will not want to risk losing focus on the league.

Much to their fans’ frustration, the Gunners have once again missed out on the Premiership, and are aiming to qualify for Champions League.

Tonight, they play Norwich at home and while the visitors have only won three away matches this season, the relegation battle often pushes a team to achieve the improbable.

This should be yet another thrilling match with both teams furiously fighting for survival.

All said and done about the tussle for fourth place, there is also a slim chance of it losing its value; if City are crowned Champions League winners while being displaced from their current spot and Liverpool win the Europa League trophy.

In this scenario, only the top three English teams would qualify for Europe’s elite competition.

Ah, all these crazy possibilities in football.

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