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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Arsenal, Chelsea or Spurs: Who will miss out on the top four?


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Just two points separate Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs in the battle for a Champions League spot and the riches that come with it. But with only two places available one of them is going to miss out, but who?

Arsenal have finally found their feet and won seven of their past nine league outings. They have reached the Champions League every year for the past 16 seasons. Wenger knows what it takes to get his men over the line and they could move into third this weekend as they host Norwich while Chelsea take on Man City in the FA Cup and Spurs have a week off. Their run-in is the easier of the three sides with only Manchester United and Everton likely to give them any trouble.

Chelsea are the current champions of Europe and reside in third place. Rafa Benitez has had his knockers this season but he has the Blues in prime position. However, they have won only five of their past 10 league outings, and still have to play Spurs, Liverpool, Manchester United and Everton. Could they be the ones to miss out?

Then we are on to Spurs. AVB has had a great first season at the Lane but could they be denied Champions League football for the second year on the bounce? Injuries to Gareth Bale, Jermain Defoe and Arron Lennon could not have come at a worse time. They only have six games left to play but two of those are against Manchester City and Chelsea. Spurs have only lost two of their past 10, but, like Chelsea, they have only won half of them too. The boys from the Lane also have the worse goal difference of the three sides.

So just who will miss out on a top four place? 

Here is what a selection of Squarefootball writers, readers and fans on Google+ think.

Squarefootball writer and West Ham fan Mitch Waddon

"Unfortunately, I think it’s going to be Tottenham that don’t qualify for the Champions League this year. I said in January that I felt Chelsea would slip into fifth, allowing the North London teams to grace Europe’s top competition, but it seems that Spurs are once again beginning to fall apart at the end of the season. It would be very unfair for Spurs to miss out, but the Premier League is ruthless and I think they will not quite make it."

Squarefootball's Liverpool reporter Dave Disciascio

"The loss of Bale is significant. He has been absolutely sensational when on form, but I’m afraid his injury has massive consequences: Spurs miss out of Champions League football. And even worse, it might mean the Welshman leaves the Premier League in the summer."

Bolton Wanderers fan Dave Blackburn

"Arsenal are concentrating on the league only, Chelsea are on three fronts and Spurs on two. I will stick my nose out and say as Arsenal and Chelsea are the current form teams - just; the team who will miss out are Spurs mainly due to injuries they have picked up (Bale, Defoe and Lennon) and they could struggle if they are out for any length of time."

West Brom fan Andy Wakeman

"I hope its Arsenal and think it will be. Spurs however do have a history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. It will be tight but I think Arsenal will miss out."

Dan Pheysey on Google+

"Chelsea to miss out for me. Too many games, not on good form and the toughest fixture list." 

Sabha Saint-Claire on Google+

"Spurs will miss out. They still have to play Chelsea and Man City."

Sunderland fan Tony Ratton

"I have a feeling that Spurs could miss out on a Champions League place as the injuries to Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale will take their toll."

Squarefootball writer Hugh Larkin

"Spurs might be the ones to miss out again. Arsenal tend to do what's needed at this end of the season and Chelsea also have a lot of experience at winning the crucial games."

So that's what we think, but what about you?

Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you.

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Colin Illingworth

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