Why Tottenham clash is absolutely crucial for Arsenal’s Top Four ambitions

Man United’s defeat to Wolves last night was an excellent result for Arsenal as it now means that if the Red Devils win their one game in hand over the Gunners, we will still be one point to the good over Rangnick’s team.

West Ham’s recent results have also resulted in the Gunners being one point ahead of our East London neighbours, with an equal amount of games played. So, basically this leaves Tottenham are the only team that can catch us if they win their two games in hand.

So maybe we are lucky that we are playing them next, as a win at White Hart Lane would give us a slight advantage over them in the race for Top Four, but that is by no means going to be an easy game, considering that Antonio Conte has improved their play and our massive rivalry means that the game could go either way.

The current ‘race for Top Four’ looks like this….

West Ham..20……34
Man Utd…19……31

BUT a defeat could prove disatrous for us. The problem is that the North London Derby is the very last game in the next round of EPL games, and in the meantime, both Man United and West Ham will be playing before we go to Tottenham.

West Ham actually play twice. They are at home to Norwich on the 12th Jan, which is 90% to be a home win, and then they are at home again against Leeds on the 16th in the game before we play Tottenham. If they win that (as is likely), they could be 5 points ahead of us.

Man United have a tougher game on the the 15th when they go to Villa Park, but again they will be favourites to win. So if they do, then the table will look like this before we play our rivals….

……. Played….Points
West Ham..22……40
Man Utd…20……34

So now you can imagine where we will be if Tottenham beat us. We would be in 6th place, with the Hammers 5 points ahead, Tottenham 1 point ahead with 2 games in hand, and United 1 point behind with a game in hand.

Now THAT would put a completely different complexion on our chances in the Top Four Race, wouldn’t it?

But if we WIN, we’ll be in 5th with a game in hand on West Ham…..


Tags Top Four tottenham


  1. Glad this has been written! A lot of fans have been running around claiming we are 4th when it really hasn’t been secured at all!

    If we lose against Spurs we’ll be the joke of the EPL and North London along with being in a poor position.

    1. Well at the present moment we are 4th and who
      knows how many future fixtures will be postponed
      by Cvid. And regardless of how painful and
      embarrassing it might be for you and Arsenal fans
      to stomach Spuds are on a good run of form under
      Conte and are legitimate challengers for top 4.

      You also might want to glance and compare both clubs
      upcoming fixtures list, Spuds have the likes of Chelsea,
      Wolves, City, Man U, West Ham and Everton in there
      next eight matches. In that same time Arsenals
      toughest test on paper will be a road trip to Wolves. I
      concede many road games fill this fixture list but
      Arsenal will be favored in every match.

      Certainly a long way to go but I like our chances ,
      especially if we can nick a result @ WHL

    2. A defeat against Spurs isn’t the end of the race, there’ll be 17 more games to decide that for Arsenal and 19 to decide for Spurs…

      “IF” “IF” “IF” enough if’s, it’s only on paper they have any advantage until the game is played. Games in hand don’t count, game played is what matters in the top 4 race.

      Personally, I think having those games pile up is actually a disadvantage

      1. Well said, my thought as well. I would hane preferred we had played and won our outstanding match, than have matches piled up.

    3. We are 4th atm, and as you say 4th hasn’t “been secured at all”
      And if spurs wins their next 3 games they haven’t secured 4th as well. 🤔 That’s why we judge when all games in the league have been played. I know I’m stating the bleeding obvious but sometimes the bleeding obvious needs to be stated..
      So far we have a shot at the top 4 nothing more nothing less🤞

      1. Absolutely GD. We can beat Spurs and not end in the top 4 or loose to them and still get top 4. It’s a 38 game league ffs

    4. How times have changed. Once upon a Wenger-time, fourth was never good enough. Remember how the jokes went flying around about Wenger and his fourth place trophy? Seems now that attaining top four would be the be all and end all for the Arsenal. Great stuff !!!!

      1. Stop being disingenuous. If Arteta doesn’t challenge for the title in the next 2-3 years people will turn against him even if he gets top 4 every year. Assuming Arsenal actually make top 4 this year and people don’t withdraw their support from Arteta.

        And that’s how progress is measured. Arsenal were not progressing beyond top 4 were they? In fact they got worse as the years went by. You should think more about your comments.

        1. Progress is being measured by where you are. If we finished 8th, progress is getting back to top 4.

          If you are constantly in top 4, progress is if you win or at least challenge for title.

          And that’s something Wenger didn’t achieve since 2009.

  2. “We would be in 6th place, with the Hammers 5 points ahead, Tottenham 1 point ahead with a game in hand”

    Would Spurs not still have 2 games to us in hand after they play us?

  3. if we played like we did against man city (1st half) then I’m sure the three points is ours

  4. Couldn’t agree more with this article .
    I believe it will be between both teams for forth as Man Utd seem to have run their course already where as us and spuds have picked up over the last month ,spurs have the conte affect which will definitely come in handy but after our game with them we have quite an easier run of games ,only downside is partey is now missing which leaves a big hole to fill in the middle ,also pepe who no matter what fans think of him will still have a part to play and will leave us short if we were to get an injury on the wings or up top .

  5. Losing to spurs would just be a disaster in bragging rights and not in ultimate league positions. There is still very nearly half the season left and lots can happen. Gonna be an exciting bumpy ride though.

  6. No guarantee that westham will win their next 2games. So all this is just hypothetical. 54 points to play for game by game and we see where it all ends up.

  7. It will be a setback. Nothing more. Nothing less. I’m confident that Ardensl are building something that can cope with one NLD loss and 51 points still up for grabs.

  8. Tottenham can afford to lose to Arsenal as they still have two games in hand.
    No pressure on the Arsenal 🤭

        1. Spurs have 2 games in hand because their away matches to Leicester and Brighton got cancelled.

          Away matches to Leicester and BHA are no running in the park.

  9. To finish 4th, we have got to win the NLD. Otherwise we just stick to the 6th finish target

    Conte is lucky to have Harry Kane, similar to the dominant CFs he had at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter. If Kane wasn’t fit, Conte would likely have not been able to win consistently

      1. Son is dangerous in counter-attacks only, whereas Kane can easily hold off our CBs and link up with Spuds’ midfielders

      1. That’s the most realistic target after an bad season last year and our CF problem this season. The newcomers need time to gel with their new teammates as well

    1. @gai
      Let’s hope the report on Mail online that Arsenal already table €48m with Lucas Torreira for Susan Vlahovic of Florentina is successful. The player is a good CF with good height. Highest goal scorer in seriaA at the moment. I read Florentina are considering the offer.

      1. I heard about Vlahovic’s reluctance to press high up the pitch, so Arsenal need to assess him thoroughly. We can’t afford to make another expensive mistake and we need to make sure he won’t have any problem with Xhaka

        However, his height, strength and left foot will make us able to escape easily from the opposition’s high press. Imagine having Vlahovic, Saka and Tomiyasu on the right side of the field, to receive Ramsdale’s long passes

        His aerial ability will also be useful to receive Tierney’s long crosses and in set-pieces. Although I’d prefer to try Pepe first in the CF position or loan Luka Jovic to evaluate him for five months

        1. @GAI,

          if you look at the highlights of Vlahovic, he actually does press even at his own half. Statistically more than the likes of Kane, Ronaldo or Lukaku.

          1. Good observation. The CF should be our first defender in the opposition’s half though, so we need to make sure he has enough stamina and pace to do it

  10. Spuds is an absolutely vital game, a must win and we have the squad too win. A defeat would be a right kick in the nuts.

  11. It is going to be a very long second half of season with many changes to league position yet, i personally wouldn’t just rule Man Utd out, a couple of signings and a fit Pogba again will improve their chances, even if Spurs manage to win the NLD at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (White Hart Lane was knocked down a few years ago) then as you say we then have a run of difficult games and the 2 games in hand are by no means easy but I’m sure Arsenal will then have a bit of a similar run of difficult games, it’s going to be close between 4 teams for the top 4 and i hope Spurs manage to do it but i wouldn’t write any of them teams off finishing in 4th.

    1. Spurs man I wonder what you are doing in here, or is it that we are more of a club! Go open a forum of sh*t you call a club and see if their is a single Arsenal fan interested.

  12. This is a very hypothetical analysis. Have faith in them plsyers me fellow Gunners. Our lads are all still in building, and the building will continue for awhile. Have faith. This is a long run.

  13. Long way to go guys

    Isn’t it good to have this conversation though, after the last couple of seasons we have had and the first three games of this season

  14. OT.. Liverpool have formally requested their Carabao Cup semi-final, first leg with Arsenal be postponed following a further Covid-19 outbreak.

    Villa had to field their academy players against Pool in the FA cup as their first team had covid. Why can’t Pool?

    1. Agree most teams are happy to play the second string in this comp, i dont see why it would need to be postponed.

    2. It would be disappointing if they did.

      Personally I think if any teams want a game postponed then they should just forfeit the match. I guarantee you that there will suddenly be miraculous recoveries if the club is hit for points on the table.

    3. I’ll be gutted if the game is postponed till Salla and Mane back.
      Was hoping we could take advantage of their absence

    4. A big squad, easily put a team out on Sunday now they have no players for Thursday ? Seems they want to get their main players back for that game.

      1. Leyton Orient forfeited their game against the Spuds in this cup due to covid!!
        It amazes me, Kev, how Klopp has suddenly decided to take this cup seriously – his only chance of silverware this season??
        Really don’t want to do them any favours and checking our fixture list, have no idea where we can squeeze it in. Maybe it’ll be changed to one leg?

        1. Yeah he’s probably hoping it gets moved to Anfield in a one legged tie Sue 😳 villa also had to field their under 11s last season against them 😂 well they won’t win the league but I wouldn’t rule them out for the champions League they seem to take to that competition like a duck to water.

          1. Forest also have a covid outbreak in their squad, Kev. Their game on Monday was postponed… one to keep an eye on!

    5. Sue we’ll know by end of today, but postponing a game they have been playing academy players makes no sense. But it’s Liverpool! Won’t be surprised if the game is postponed

        1. I think since Wenger this is our best season. So far Arsenal has picked up more points per game from the other teams (excluding the top 3).
          If we keep up our performance we shall certainly be 4th or better. Chelsea has started performing poorly if that continues we could be 3rd.
          Hope we beat spuds

  15. It matters not a jot except for bragging rights as the spuds will still have 2 games in hand.

    We could smash them 5 nil but if this team is capable to losing to an Everton side with no form in over 2 decades, it is capable to drop 3 points against any future opposition.

    I for one am not getting carried away with this “purple patch’ as let’s not forget for however well we played in the first half against Shitty… we still dropped 3 points.

    I’m taking each game as it comes without any expectations and only hope for a performance worthy of the badge. Which is what I got on Saturday except for the typical ill discipline.

    The key to our season is not beating our noisy neighbours but consistently putting in performances that puts 3 points on the board. (It would be good though😉)

  16. I don’t know why we are concerned about a game in 2 weeks time. Still got 3 games to play between now and then

  17. Beating Tottenham is not a key or factor to top 4 finish, consistency is the key. NL Derby is just a game of 3 points, we have over 50points more to play for: let’s show consistency in all games, that’s all.

  18. For my liking there are far to many assumptions , ie predictions that seem to be factored in, despite not yet having been played.
    Fooball is not played on paper and odd results hapen all the time. I say it is very unlikely that all these predictions will come true together.
    Consequently, I dismiss this article as little more than one of Ad PATS , Dan Smith type predictions that so many of us enter freely.

    The key difference between Dans league and Pats assumed predictions is that PAT has based a whole article on assumptions , whereas Dan and Gooners simply and harmlesly give their own opinions to win a league table.

    Personally, I do not wish to enter it but it does no harm, unlike this article, which is based on assumptions alone and thus renders it as pointless, IMO.
    Essentially, it is just another “what if” article and I never like indulging “what if” articles, as they are rarely what actually happens.

  19. OT Dortmund have enquired about taking auba back to Germany, if there truly is a god Auba plus £60m for Haaland will make me give up being an atheist.

    Imagine a frontline of Martinelli Haaland and Saka, backed up by a midfield of Smith Rowe Partey and Odegaard. Back 5 picks itself 🙏🙏🙏🙏

  20. The Spuds game is a must win game, but there is lot of time before that and games before the Spuds game. I agree that consistency is the key which is more important than beating the Spuds although I really really want to smash the Spuds in their own backyard. Having said that, I hope the Liverpool game is not postponed, another of Klopps tactics to manipulate wins, I hope the authorities dont agree to the Pool request, it is absurd if they do.

  21. It is simple Spurs are a rival in both London and top 4 race, we must win.
    If they won all their games, they have more points, we might or not be able to catch but we do not want to put ourselves in difficult position.
    Conte has been so efficient, we should have had them when it made sense but now team is doing fairly well, Arteta must have his chance to the end of the season.
    Anything less than top 6 is a failure obviously, most fans want top 4. The rest is a talk for another day

  22. Top 4 race is a race of 6 clubs not just four Liverpool and Chelsea have automatically join this top 4 race as the title is headed to the blue side of Manchester

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