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Spurs excited to face Premier League title hopefuls but remain focused on their own goals

Spurs excited to face Premier League title hopefuls but remain focused on their own goals
From left to right: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool. (Photo: Chris Brunskill / Fantasista / Getty Images) Martin Odegaard of Arsenal. (Photo: Mike Hewitt / Getty Images) Rodrigo Hernandez of Manchester City. (Photo: Ion Alcoba Beitia / Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur are in pursuit of booking a Champions League spot. On this path, they face off with Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City.

Tottenham Hotspur may not be one of the three teams racing to win the English Premier League title this season. However, they may just have a massive say in where the league crown ultimately ends up at the culmination of what has been a riveting campaign.

Liverpool, defending champions Manchester City, as well as Arsenal are embroiled in an exciting tussle for the title of being the best team in England. With less than 10 games left to play in the current season, there is little to choose between the trio.

In the run-in towards the end of the season each of Arsenal, Liverpool and City will have to navigate past Spurs. The Lily Whites play London rivals Arsenal at the end of April, before travelling to Merseyside at the beginning of May to try to pinch some points off of the Reds.

Ange Postecoglou’s charges will then host City in both teams’ penultimate game of the season, which is scheduled for 14 May.

What makes Spurs so dangerous in this period is that they are in pursuit of a fourth-placed finish that will earn them a spot in next season’s Uefa Champions League after they missed out this season.

Just like the three horses jostling for first position, they have no room for error. Aston Villa — who are also realistic contenders for fourth — will be waiting to pounce should Spurs slip up in any of their remaining matches.

All these interconnected mini-narratives make for an intriguing storyline, in which there can only be one ultimate victor.

James Maddison, Spurs

James Maddison of Tottenham Hotspur in action against Nottingham Forest. (Photo: Catherine Ivill – AMA / Getty Images)

Spurs midfielder James Maddison believes that their role as potential kingmakers adds another layer of excitement in what has already been an extremely exciting season.

The England international also added that their primary focus is on themselves and their own goals for the remainder of the season.

“I am excited. You want to be involved in the big games and the big moments. It just happens to be that all those three teams at the top we have still got to play. It will be interesting. But we have got a job to do,” said Maddison.

“People keep asking me about what sort of say we are going to have in the title race. We are not looking at it like that, we have got a job to do. We would never look at what we can do for other teams. We want to finish as high as we can. To do that, we might have to beat some of the teams who are in for the title,” explained the attacking midfielder.

“The Premier League has been brilliant. It has been chaotic this year with the three-way title race, the relegation battle, the points deductions [for financial fair play breaches], the race for the Champions League. It is set to be a good finale for everyone involved. We have got a job to do at Newcastle on Saturday to try and secure what we want to achieve,” stated Maddison.

In the first-round encounters against the three title hopefuls, Spurs drew with both City and Arsenal. They beat Liverpool.

Of the three league contenders, a chink in Liverpool’s armour was recently exposed after they went down 3-0 to Italian outfit Atalanta in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal encounter.

Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool, looks on during the Uefa Europa League 2023/24 quarter-final first leg between Liverpool FC and Atalanta. (Photo: Stu Forster / Getty Images)

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said his team had “lost the plot” during the defeat to the Italians on Thursday night. However, he added that there is not much time for self-pity considering their ambitions for the rest of the season.

Read more in DailyMaverick: Anfield hero Jürgen Klopp aims for yet more trophies in his final season with Liverpool

“The boys have exactly tonight to feel bad about it. Then we have to build up again for the Crystal Palace game [on Sunday]. That’s how it is,” Klopp said. “This was a low point for us performance-wise, I would say, for a long time.”

Klopp is desperate to sign off on a positive note as Liverpool manager. He announced that this was his last season with the Reds, having joined in 2015.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are seeking a first Premier League title in two decades. City remain the favourites though, especially when their dominance of English football in recent years is taken into account. DM

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