'Big Four need their big players to ward off Tottenham!'
HARRY Redknapp admits that Arsenal and Liverpool s injuries have made them vulnerable as Tottenham continue to hold onto a top-four place in the Premier League. Spurs have traded places with the Gunners in each of the last two weeks...
By Ben Pearce
HARRY Redknapp admits that Arsenal and Liverpool's injuries have made them vulnerable as Tottenham continue to hold onto a top-four place in the Premier League.
Spurs have traded places with the Gunners in each of the last two weeks, vying for third place and - in the longer term - a Champions League spot.
But, having been weakened by injuries to Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate and Luka Modric himself, Redknapp has observed Arsenal's sudden shortage of strikers with interest.
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And the Spurs boss concedes that he fully expected Chelsea to beat Arsenal two weeks ago, when the Blues ran out 3-0 winners at the Emirates.
"Three weeks ago everyone was saying how fantastic Arsenal were, but now people say they're struggling. That was before they lost [Robin] Van Persie," said Redknapp.
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"That's how important your key players are to you. [Nicklas] Bendtner's injured as well, and suddenly they've got no focal point perhaps. That's a problem at the moment.
"But they get lots of movement. I wouldn't want to criticise Arsene Wenger's team because they play some fantastic football - their movement is amazing, they pass the ball great and they can murder teams quite easily, we know that. But they have had a couple of setbacks.
"Chelsea were always going to be too strong for them the other week, always, because they're a stronger team.. I felt that was an absolute certainty, that Chelsea would beat Arsenal. Without Van Persie you couldn't see where Arsenal were going to get the power and strength to hurt [John] Terry and [Ricardo] Carvalho."
Redknapp admits that the Big Four will be confident of maintaining their monopoly on the Champions League places this season.
But he has also been encouraged by injuries to key players at Liverpool. And, having watched the Merseysiders win just two of their last eight league games, he believes that the race is closer than ever.
"Most definitely it's the most open. Liverpool only lost two games all season but they got a few injuries and it showed they are vulnerable," said the Tottenham boss. "If they get injuries to Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard they are not the same. But Rafa [Benitez] is very confident they will make the top four. He said for sure they will be there.
"Arsenal and Liverpool would be favourites for those positions but it's not impossible for one of us to break in there.
"We're in the top four now, and with the start we've had there's no reason why we shouldn't be bang there all year really. We've got the players here to do it. I think if we can keep people fit we'll be up there challenging for that top four.