With the season coming to a close Tottenham are hoping to hunt down the Premier League leaders and win their first title since 1961. With a resounding win over their North London rivals, Arsenal, on Sunday they kept the pressure up on leaders Chelsea and laid down a marker.
Tottenham mounted their first real title challenge in a long time last season but fell away and by this time last year had already surrendered the title to Leicester City.
Chelsea, on the other hand, were not even close to winning the title last season. They were defending champions but finished a very disappointing tenth.
However, they kept the bulk of that title-winning side together and thus know how to close a title race out. With only four games left for both teams, we take a look at the case for Tottenham winning the title, the case for Chelsea and then rule on who will be crowned the 2016-17 Premier League champions.
Tottenham Winning the Title
In a word, momentum, Tottenham have been excellent in recent weeks and have shown no sign of dropping points, winning nine games in a row. Not long ago they were seven points behind the leaders, but they have now cut that down to four.
They are arguably playing the best football in the league. They have the league’s best defence along with the attacking talents of Harry Kane and Dele Alli who have made Spurs unstoppable.
They also have the pain and frustration of last season’s failure to drive them on, Dele Alli stated in an interview with FourFourTwo that, “it was horrible to be up there so long and then not win the league. It’s important that that doesn’t happen again.”
The players are clearly more focused this season, and their recent performances seem to suggest that they will not let last season’s mistakes happen again.
While their fixture list is tough with games against Manchester United, Hull, West Ham and Leicester City yet to be played, they have shown that they are up for the task and will push Chelsea all the way.
Chelsea Winning 5th EPL Crown
Antonio Conte’s men have more points on the board, an easier fixture list and the experience of winning silverware recently. They also scored a huge psychological victory over their nearest rivals by beating them in the FA Cup Semi-Final last weekend.
While Tottenham have looked impressive, they still have to face a side chasing the top four in Man United, a relegation battling Hull and their local rivals West Ham and only the Manchester United game is at home. Chelsea, on the other hand, will be at Stamford Bridge for three of their last four fixtures. They face
Chelsea, on the other hand, will be at Stamford Bridge for three of their last four fixtures. They face relegation-threatened Middlesbrough as well as three sides with nothing left to play for in the already safe West Brom and Watford as well as Sunderland whose relegation is confirmed.
Also, despite a recent wobble, back-to-back wins over Southampton and Everton have put Chelsea back on track; they seem to be calm and organised and don’t look like a team who are under pressure.
Conte is a manager with experience of winning title races; he won his first title at Juventus by just four points over Milan. Having the knowledge of what it takes to drag a team over the line can only help the Blues in their quest for another Premier League title.
Tottenham are clearly a stronger team than they were last season. They keep picking up points in challenging situations and look as though they will keep the pressure up on Chelsea unlike last season when they let Leicester slip.
However, Chelsea’s easier run of games coupled with their experience of winning titles in the past gives them the edge, and I think that they will win their fifth Premier League title.