After securing Champions League football at the expense of north London rivals Arsenal and reaching a major European final, Spurs seemed well set to push on and finally banish their silverware hoodoo at the end of last season. That promise hasn’t quite materialised.
The club have endured a turbulent 2019/20 campaign, parting company with a boss who it seemed could do no wrong, appointing one with a proven track record which seems to be waning and currently languishing in eighth place in the Premier League – two points behind Sheffield United and a further five points outside of the Champions League spots.
The club’s remaining nine fixtures in the Premier League look set to take on an added significance, as it remains to be seen whether they’ll be dining at Europe’s top table next season, or if they’ll be back to being ‘mid-table Spurs’.
If José Mourinho’s men are to bridge the ominous seven-point gap separating themselves and fourth-placed Chelsea, they can ill-afford any further slip ups.
One positive that the Spurs fans can take from the league’s postponement is that it has allowed some of their key men to regain fitness. The club could have named a strong starting XI of players sidelined prior to the three-month hiatus, but the break has allowed senior figures such as Harry Kane to complete their rehab without any further missed fixtures.
Predicting Spurs' scores in this rollercoaster of a season has not been easy, but with some key players returning from injury, could Mourinho’s men be set for a late charge on the top four? Let’s take a look at the club’s remaining nine games and analyse where the battle for Champions League football could be won and lost.
Matchday 30 – Manchester United (Home)
A firecracker of a first game back.
Spurs’ clashes with Manchester United have provided us with some Premier League classics down the years, and with both teams vying for a top four finish, this could well be another.
The league’s postponement came at the worst possible time for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men – they were enjoying their best period of the season, having gone 11 games without defeat, notching wins against Manchester City and Chelsea in the process.
Despite Spurs’ indifferent form this season, they have enjoyed a fruitful campaign at home, winning eight of their 14 home games. Meanwhile, Solskjaer's side have not enjoyed their travels, picking up just four away wins all season.
Despite the game being played behind closed doors, expect Spurs to reignite their season with a victory in their first game back.
Points Tally: 44
Matchday 31 – West Ham (Home)
Despite a hefty outlay in both the summer and January transfer markets, West Ham find themselves scrapping for Premier League survival.
One win from their previous nine league games sees just goal difference separating David Moyes’ men from the relegation zone. While they may sound like the perfect opposition, Spurs have got previous when it comes to dropped points against lesser sides.
Mourinho’s men have been beaten by Brighton, Southampton and Newcastle this season, as well as drawing with bottom side Norwich.
With West Ham fighting to retain their top-flight status, this London derby could well be another case of silly dropped points for Spurs.
Points Tally: 45
Matchday 32 – Sheffield United (Away)
The season’s surprise package. Sheffield United are enjoying a stellar season and have already accrued five more points than they did in their last Premier League campaign.
While the Blades have struggled to find the net at times, their steely resolve has seen them sat comfortably in the top half for most of the season.
Despite their impressive points tally, Chris Wilder’s men have struggled against the so called ‘bigger’ Premier League sides. The Blades have yet to take three points from any of the league’s top eight, with the majority of their wins coming against teams in the bottom half.
A fully fit Harry Kane will no doubt prove to be crucial against such an imperious defensive unit.
Points Tally: 48
Matchday 33 – Everton (Home)
The Toffees have had a fairly rocky ride themselves this campaign, and were enduring a poor run of form prior to the league’s postponement. One point from three games - albeit against tough opposition in Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal – has seen Ancelotti’s men slip into the bottom half.
In typical Everton fashion, they’ve proved somewhat of an enigma this season, experiencing the highs of a 3-1 win over Chelsea and the lows of a 2-0 home defeat to basement boys Norwich City.
While both teams know where the net is, they also struggle keeping them out. This one may well be decided by who makes the least mistakes, and that’s a problem Ancelotti has struggled to address in his first full season at the club.
Points Tally: 51
Matchday 34 – Bournemouth (Away)
As the Premier League season enters the home straight, Eddie Howe’s men are usually sat in a comfortable mid-table position, hoping to push on and record their best ever Premier League finish. Not this season.
The Cherries are in grave danger of losing their Premier League status after five seasons at England’s top table.
November’s clash between these two sides summed up the pair – an enthralling 3-2 littered with calamitous defending and the occasional bit of quality. With Bournemouth fighting for survival, they’ll know their home games will be crucial if they’re to avoid the drop.
Points Tally: 52
Matchday 35 – Arsenal (Home)
The scrap for supremacy in north London is in danger of becoming a bit like a fight between two drunks outside the local boozer – it means the world to them, but nobody else is really bothered anymore; and the quality is...hmm.
Such has been the turbulent season these pair have endured, this one could be a decider for who gets a shot at the top four or who gets a shot at finishing in the top half – it’s anyone’s guess.
With no home crowd advantage it’s tough to separate two sides with immense firepower but tragic defences.
Points Tally: 53
Matchday 36 – Newcastle (Away)
Newcastle have become a bit of a bogey club for Spurs over recent years. The Magpies’ impressive form against the north Londoners continued earlier this season, as they inflicted the club’s first defeat of the campaign on them.
In what is expected to be one of Steve Bruce’s final games at St. James’ Park, the boyhood Newcastle fan will no doubt be hoping to deliver all three points, not to mention there’ll be a whole host of players playing for their futures with a prospective takeover looming.
Spurs’ away form has been pretty dismal this season, and this one could well be the game which dashes any faint top four hopes.
Points Tally: 53
Matchday 37 – Leicester (Home)
It seems unfair to say Leicester have been a surprise package this season – given that every football fan in the country tipped them for great things before the season began – but they’ve certainly impressed. We weren't ready for them to be this good.
Prior to the Premier League break, the Foxes were enduring their toughest spell of the season, though their 4-0 thumping of Aston Villa will have made the three-month recess a little more comfortable.
Rodgers’ men should have a Champions League spot sewn up by this point of the campaign, but with Spurs likely to be playing only for pride, it could be a long day for Mourinho’s men.
Points Tally: 53
Matchday 38 – Crystal Palace (Away)
Roy Hodgson has enjoyed another strong season at Selhurst Park. The Eagles rarely look like threatening the European places, but Hodgson continues to ensure they retain their top-flight status.
Palace’s best ever Premier League finish of tenth is in danger of being surpassed with nine games remaining, and they’ll be out for revenge having been embarrassed 4-0 by Spurs earlier in the season.
There’s likely to be little riding on this one, with Spurs excited to see the back of a poor campaign.
Points Tally: 54