by Tom Allen
Spurs were convincing winners at Bolton in midweek and can follow up at Villa
Park on Sunday.
It is now a straight fight between Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle for the
final two places in the top four, following Chelsea's defeat to the last-named
of that trio on Wednesday, and the London clubs will be expecting three points
in the penultimate round of fixtures.
While Arsenal entertain Norwich, Harry Redknapp, who learnt this week he will
not be offered the England job, after Roy Hodgson's appointment, will see his
side take on Aston Villa and the White Hart Lane outfit are tipped to emerge
Villa, still far from assured of safety, are severely lacking in confidence
and there was plenty of good fortune about their goalless draw last time out at
West Brom when their near neighbours were unlucky not to make a breakthrough.
Spurs won't be as sympathetic as the Baggies, however, and displayed plenty
of ruthlessness at The Reebok in that 4-1 victory.
A brace from Emmanuel Adebayor saw off a spirited Trotters comeback but it is
difficult to imagine Villa putting up much of a fight and they could be in real
trouble come Sunday evening.
Alex McLeish needs to rally his troops well aware that it only goal
difference could be keeping his team out of the drop zone at full-time,
relegation rivals QPR and Bolton both have very winnable home games, and the
value lies with Spurs who are nudging even money.
It has been a difficult few months since their crushing 5-2 derby defeat at
The Emirates but Redknapp has been adamant that Spurs' performances, on the
whole, in that period were decent enough and their win over Bolton will have
With Newcastle hosting title challengers Man City on Sunday, this is an
excellent opportunity for the side from the capital to heap the pressure on the
Magpies and a third place finish is still not out of the question.
Were Chelsea to claim the Champions League later this month in Munich then
that's the position needed to secure football in Europe's elite competition next
term and only maximum points will do now in Spurs' pursuit of that spot.
2pts Back Tottenham (vs. Aston Villa) @ 10/11 (Bet 365)