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Arsenal tipped to seal fourth at expense of Spurs by Jamie Redknapp

Jamie Redknapp - Jamie Redknapp Posted 16th May 2013 view comments

Manchester United have sewn up the title and Wigan, Reading and QPR have been consigned to relegation.

But the final of the day of the Premier League season will be a fascinating afternoon of football, as North London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal vie for the final Champions League spot.

Arsenal sit in pole position to land fourth place and travel to Newcastle on Sunday knowing victory will assure them of a place in Europe's elite club competition.

A top four finish would be one of Wenger's 'biggest achievement' says Jamie

A top four finish would be one of Wenger's 'biggest achievement' says Jamie

Tottenham, meanwhile, sit one point behind in fifth, and must defeat Sunderland at White Hart Lane and hope the Gunners misfire at St James' Park.

Both games will be live on Sky Sports, and it will be a nail-biting afternoon for the two sets of supporters.

For me, the biggest banker of the weekend is that Spurs will beat Sunderland, so Arsenal can't afford to sit back and think 'what are Spurs doing?'. They have to take it for granted Spurs will win and they need all three points at Newcastle.

Tottenham and Chelsea have got a far superior squad to Arsenal, so a top four finish will be a major achievement for Wenger.

Jamie Redknapp
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Live on Sky Sports

Newcastle United v Arsenal
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Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland
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The pressure is off now for the Magpies; they've had a terrible season, considering they were pushing for a top four place themselves last year, but they've avoided relegation and the players will be relaxed come kick-off - and I wonder if that will make things harder for Arsenal.

If you look at Newcastle's results when they've needed to get points - when they were battling relegation and were hammered 6-0 by Liverpool or when they were beaten by local rivals and fellow strugglers Sunderland 3-0, both at home - it shows they can't handle the pressure particularly well.

But they have a squad, featuring a few players such as Hatem Ben Arfa, who play nice football when they have the ball, don't like restriction in terms of defensive duty and excel when they have the freedom to attack.

This is such a big game for Arsenal and they'll certainly be feeling the pressure on them. Financially, three points on Sunday is worth so much, but Newcastle will make it tough.

However, Arsenal are unbeaten in their last nine in the league and are playing well at the moment and I think they'll just edge the win they need - and if they can pull through and get into the top four then, as I have said from day one, it will be one of Arsene Wenger's biggest ever achievements.

Inferior

Tottenham and Chelsea have got a far superior squad to Arsenal when you match them up player for player, so a top-four finish will be a major achievement for Wenger and shows how good a manager he is.

Regardless of the result, though, Wenger can't afford to have another off-season selling his best players and replacing them with inferior signings.

He mustn't paper over the cracks becuase you can't expect to succeed like that. Arsenal must add some star quality to their ranks - they are too big a club not to have aces in their pack.

Tottenham, on the other hand, will judge their season on Sunday afternoon's events; they'll feel they should have bought a forward in January but, with the squad they've got, they should be finishing in the top four, and if they don't it will be a big blow.

A lot can happen this weekend and, for Spurs, it could be the difference between a great season and a major disappointment.

However, whether they do or don't make the top four, Spurs must get more out of their attacking players such as Mousa Dembele next season - they can't keep on relying on Gareth Bale. The likes of Dembele, who has only scored one goal this season, have not performed to the level they can.

They must also address their defence - they've conceded nine more than Arsenal this season and we're always saying how fragile the Gunners' defence is.

However, they are things for Andre Villas-Boas to consider in the summer and his focus now will be on Sunday's decisive games at White Hart Lane and St James' Park.

I'm tipping Tottenham to win comfortably 3-0 but could rack up a real score. However, I think Arsenal will just edge a tight encounter with Newcastle 2-1 and seal a top-four finish.

Comments (33)

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Mason Minister (Arsenal fan) says...

Brilliant post again Jamie. See alot of people barking about your comment about the strength of the two squads. I personally thibj their around equal. Although if you take bale out of the conclusion, the league table would speak for its self. Im hoping Paulo will do us a favour regardless we will probably win because its always nice to see Spurs lose. We love you Arsenal, no matter what. Well, I do.

Posted 13:31 19th May 2013

Jon Dean (Queens Park Rangers fan) says...

Have you been watching a different Dembele to everyone else? He's been one of their best players this season, probably second or third best player for Spurs? And if your judging by goals the your saying that Wilshire is rubbish so yeah. STFU!

Posted 12:04 19th May 2013

Mark Tickles (Ipswich Town fan) says...

Arsenal should pull through and seal 4th spot as we have seen in previous seasons Tottenham just don't have the belief that they can finish above their rivals despite this being a pretty poor season for Arsenal they will still finish above Tottenham which has to be hard for their fans to accept but they have blown it again.

Posted 09:54 19th May 2013

Tim Shearman (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

Jamie is right. But he could of said it one sentence. Season is over, Spurs will be 5th and only have themselves to blame. They blew it several times since January. But hey they had a run in the worthless European cup which got them all of nothing just because a manager wanted to win it again to proof something and if we would of won it would of meant nothing anyway as no champions league again. At least we can go through the whole process again next season!! 34 years and watching Spurs NEVER changes. How am I able to say to everyone before the season finishes yes we beat Man U that is great but they will again stutter as they think they are suddenly as good as Barcelona or Man U. It's a great team they are great to watch (the whole team, not just Bale) but I'm getting bored of being able to predict what they will achieve!

Posted 09:06 19th May 2013

Mark Brian (Fulham fan) says...

Spurs have got a 'far superior' squad than Arsenal? You do realise they're starting Tom Huddlestone at the moment.

Posted 05:43 19th May 2013

Sunny Patel (Arsenal fan) says...

Actually "Mo Oseni" - Chelsea have not gotten to 16 finals in 16 years, and Arsenal have managed 3 cup finals in the last 8 years, not 1! Time for some Maths tutoring perhaps mate.

Posted 14:54 17th May 2013

Luke Knight (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

Not sure I agree on a better squad either! pretty evenly matched. The lack of a striker has and will most likely cost spurs this season. The shame of it is this has happened 2 years in a row now and every spurs fan probably saw it coming. To quote a famous film, "It's not the despair Laura, I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand." I think that sums it up. lets hope for a miracle come Sunday.

Posted 14:24 17th May 2013

Ralph Mthawanji (Arsenal fan) says...

I feel there's all to play for at the weekend, i love arsenal and have endured with them for a long time and i feel its high time we started winning some trophies. look at rvp he seems happy now, all we need is that winning mentality back. wenger is he right man, and has always been, but the man has got to show us his transfer nous at the end of the season. finish 3rd,4th or 5th, doesnt matter just want to see arsenal improve and play with the flamboyance and swagger we used to have with the pires's and company. Concerned Gunner

Posted 14:18 17th May 2013

Brandon Flemming (Chelsea fan) says...

I hope that arsenal loose because that way we have guarenteed 3rd place sounds a bit biased but oh well!

Posted 14:15 17th May 2013

Chris Kent (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

I am seeing some very sensible responsives to this column, unlike other articles on the site. Arsenal fans speaking sense as well as Spurs, we've had a great season considering injuries and tranfers, Arsenal have made a fantastic comeback, you can't deny that. But saying our squad is far superior is arguable, our bench isn't very strong at the moment, and like for like, I'd say Arsenals midfield is probably stronger on their day.

Posted 13:47 17th May 2013

Dean Richardson (Sunderland fan) says...

Sunderland have no pressure on them going into this game, yes we will probably lose but we aint gonna roll over for nobody not under Di Canios watch!!!! Arsenal will beat Newcastle aswell

Posted 13:03 17th May 2013

Richard Roberts (Arsenal fan) says...

Chelsea may be better because they have a better quality bench, but Spurs better man for man? From the Tottenham defence you would take Lloris and Vertongen, from the midfiled obviously Bale, possibly Sandro for Arteta. Up front, pretty even between Giroud and Defoe, Adebayor not even worth a mention. So I would make that a mixed team of 5 spurs players max. Lloris Sagna Vert Merty/Kos Gibbs Walcott Santi Sandro Bale Giroud Defoe Anybody think different?

Posted 12:59 17th May 2013

Dean O kelly (Arsenal fan) says...

Spurs do not have a better squad than arsenal .. Grioud and podlski are better than defo and addy, theo is better than lennon, santi wilsheare and arteta are better than demble parker and huddleston gibbs is better than assuo, walker and sanga are the same maybe edge walker abit because of his pace, vertongen is better than our center backs but koscleiny is better than dawson and spurs may have a better goal keeper and bale is better than our left sided players .. Lets be honest we beat spurs 5-2 and they scrapped 2-1 against us and we had injurys .. Bandwagon comment saying they have a better squad.

Posted 12:51 17th May 2013

Grins Widely (Arsenal fan) says...

Arsenal's much maligned defence currently have conceded less goals than any team apart from Man City.

Posted 12:18 17th May 2013

Rob Smith (Arsenal fan) says...

Best starting 11 from the two clubs Lloris Sagna Dawson Vertonghan Gibbs Arteta Walcott Bale Cazorla Giroud Hardly Spurs having the better Squad

Posted 12:00 17th May 2013

Daniel Dwyer (Arsenal fan) says...

It will be close on the last day I think Newcastle will run Arsenal close. I do not agree that it will be a great achievement for Wenger nor do I agree that Spurs have a far superior squad. I would even question as to whether it is superior. Wilshere, Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky, Ox, Walcott, Santi, Giroud, Podolski, Gibbs, Monreal, Sagna, Jenks, Koscielny, Tommy V, Mertesacker, I think it would be fair to say that we actually have as much depth. We have four guys in double figures this season for goals...how many do Spurs have?

Posted 11:27 17th May 2013

Sandeep Chohan (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

Arsenal fans are really objecting to the inferior squad idea and listing 3 or 4 good midfielders they have. Yes Carzorla, Walcott and Ox are impressive, but you are not thinking about the whole team. Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen and Kaboul are all better than their counterparts. Bale and Sandro are world class with Lennon and Dembele not far behind. Giroud and Podolski are in better form than Defoe and Adebayor but I am not convinced they are better players. Anyway, it is all about opinions...

Posted 09:17 17th May 2013

Colm Flood (Arsenal fan) says...

3 cup finals in 8 years actually. 2 League cups and a Champions league

Posted 08:43 17th May 2013

Jay T (Arsenal fan) says...

We have conceded less, scored more goals and have more points then spurs. Don't sound more superior to me.

Posted 05:26 17th May 2013

Steven Goggin (Arsenal fan) says...

All we need is Sunderland to beat Tottenham or draw (obviously) no matter what. We did them a favour against Wigan, now do us a favour! Although I'm still confident we'll beat Newcastle Sunday!

Posted 01:04 17th May 2013

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