Football Expert & Columnist
Jamie Redknapp says Tottenham won't make top four if they don't beat Arsenal
Tottenham won't make the top four unless they beat Arsenal on Sunday, says Jamie Redknapp.
Last Updated: 14/03/14 9:49am
If Spurs don't beat their rivals at White Hart Lane they won't make the top four. It's as simple as that.
They already trail Arsene Wenger's side by six points having played a game more and even a draw would leave them too much of a mountain to climb.
Manchester City are only four points ahead of Spurs but, with three games in hand, I expect them to finish comfortably in those top four places, along with Liverpool and Chelsea.
I'm pretty sure Arsenal will be there too. They've got some tough fixtures coming up and are perhaps the team Spurs are targeting. But Spurs need one of those four sides to suffer a dramatic collapse between now and the end of the season.
However, saying that, if the hosts do come away from Sunday's match-up with three points they will be right back in the mix - especially considering the huge boost in confidence that result will give them in their remaining games.
To do that, though, they are going to have to improve substantially on their recent performances.
Tim Sherwood publicly criticised his players after the 4-0 defeat to Chelsea and - whether you agree with him doing that or not - now it's all about how the players respond.
The signs aren't good, considering they lost 3-1 at home to Benfica in the Europa League on Thursday night, but I know that if I was in that Spurs side and my character and integrity had been questioned by the boss, I'd be determined to prove him wrong.
Sherwood was only saying what most Spurs fans leaving Stamford Bridge would have felt; at times the defending was shambolic and there were not enough people putting their bodies on the line for the cause.
It's been reported that if Sherwood doesn't get Spurs into the top four he'll lose his job and I find that ridiculous. The person who should be under the most pressure is the one responsible for bringing in all those players last summer.
Only Christian Eriksen is worthy of his place at the moment and most of the other deals have back-fired. They had one superstar player last season who was doing incredible things week-in, week-out and at the moment you look around and think 'who is going to do that?'
Emmanuel Adebayor looks the one person who can do something dangerous at the moment and he'll be motivated against his former side this weekend.
However, Arsenal will go to the Lane feeling confident.
The first 20 minutes will be fast and ferocious but I'm sure Wenger will think this is a great opportunity. If they get three points they'll feel Tottenham can't catch them.
And they'll be able to target the Spurs defence, too. Michael Dawson and Vlad Chiriches are missing through injury, while Kyle Walker is a doubt after picking up a knock against Benfica.
Jan Vertonghen should step back into centre-half but he has been really poor recently, while his likely partner at the back will be Younes Kaboul, whose five Premier League appearances for Spurs this season have included the 6-0 thrashing at City and Saturday's 4-0 loss at Chelsea.
There will be goals but I'm going for 2-2 draw - and that will suit Wenger fine.
You can see Adebayor causing Arsenal problems but if the visitors score early that will make the crowd edgy and make it tough for Tottenham.
These big games, though, are usually evenly-matched affairs and I can see it finishing all square - which will do the home side no favours.