Three points, that’s all it means. No more or less than any other match, and yet when Man City and Spurs take to the pitch this Sunday, it might feel like there’s a bit more at stake. It could be because it’s a “six-pointer” that really means a lot for Spurs’ ambitions.
Here is the current PL table:
Courtesy BBC Sport
Man City are only one point away from Spurs’ second place spot, meaning a Spurs loss would send them back to third and even fourth if Leicester manage to drop points against Arsenal. A draw would maintain the current situation, but a Leicester win against Arsenal would really dampen Spurs’ title hopes, which are already thinning every week Leicester continue to win. So what’s the big deal? Third and fourth both guarantee Champions League, and according to statistician and fellow Spurs supporter Michael Caley, Spurs have an 88% chance to finish top four.
EPL top four projection. Model considers "at Stamford Bridge" a tough match, so draw doesn't hurt United much. pic.twitter.com/B9V4miZ6Wc— Michael Caley (@MC_of_A) February 7, 2016
But, while fourth place only guarantees a playoff game, third and above are direct entrance in the group stage, which is a big boost for any team, and one that Spurs should be shooting for given their position at this stage of the season. A win over Man City would be key to that, as it would increase Spurs’ gap over them to four points and, depending on the scoreline, improve Spurs’ advantage in the goal difference tiebreaker, which is sitting at 26-21 at the moment. In addition, a draw between Arsenal and Leicester would put Spurs two points clear of their rivals and within touching distance of first at three points, where they again own the goal difference tiebreaker over Leicester 26-20.
All of the good scenarios for Spurs start with a win, and they’ve proven their ability to beat Man City, beating them 4-1 the last time the sides met. So in the end, yes it’s a match just like any other, worth the same three points as any other. But, taking the season sweep against a team that just two years ago outscored Spurs 11-1 over two matches is another drop of confidence in the bucket for a Spurs squad that is trying to raise its ceiling and create something special.
Featured Image – Getty Images Sport/Catherine Ivill – AMA
Sam Henschel is the same age as Dele Alli and prefers not to think about that.