September 20 2014 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Monday, February 3, 2014
Tottenham’s Gylfi Sigurdsson believes the Premier League top four picture will become clearer by the end of this month - but says Arsenal and Chelsea will fall short in the title race.
Spurs’ hopes took a hit last week with a 5-1 home drubbing by title favourites Manchester City, while a 1-1 draw at Hull on Saturday left them no closer to fourth place.
But results at the weekend were kind to the Lilywhites who remain in touch of the last Champions League qualification spot, only three points off current lodgers Liverpool who could only pick up a point at West Brom on yesterday.
Sigurdsson, who was an unused substitute at the KC Stadium, believes February can prove a crucial month for Spurs’ aspirations as they face fellow top four hopefuls Everton and Newcastle within four days of each other.
He said: “It’s a bit tight there and it’s hard to say at the moment but I think probably after February we’ll see who will be up there and who will be competing for the fourth place.
“We just need to get on another run, keep picking up three points and hopefully that will make sure we’ll be in the top four at the end of the season.”
Chelsea, in third place, could move level on points with City tonight if they can end their unbeaten run at the Etihad Stadium, but it looks like a three-horse race for the title, with Arsenal the current leaders.
Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood was convinced after last week’s humbling that he’d seen a Manchester City side which will beat their London rivals to the title this term - and the Sigurdsson concurred.
“If I was to guess I’d say City will be the favourites for it,” the Icelandic midfielder said. “The other two teams have got a fantastic squad and fantastic teams but I think the players and the experience will edge it out of them three [including Arsenal and Chelsea].”
Spurs will also have the Europa League to refocus on later this month when a two-legged round of 32 tie against Ukrainian outfit Dnipro awaits.
But Sigurdsson is confident, after signing seven new players in the summer, that Tottenham are well equipped to fight on two fronts, despite missing out on a top four berth last term.
“I think the squad was quite big last season but we’ve brought in quite a lot of players in the summer so I think the squad is even stronger now,” he said, adding: “It takes time for everyone to settle in, but I think the boys that came in the summer have been doing really well.”
Tottenham’s run in last year’s Europa League came to an end with a quarter final shootout exit to Basel, who Chelsea beat in the last four on their way to winning the competition.
Sigurdsson said: “If you look back, we went out on penalties against Basel last season and it was a big disappointment but hopefully we can go a bit further this season in Europe.”