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Top four almost guaranteed, but final-day clash still holds importance

PUBLISHED: 11:00 10 May 2019

Tottenham Hotspur's Toni Jimenez, Jesus Perez, manager Mauricio Pochettino, and Miguel D'Agostino celebrate after the final whistle of the Champions League semi-final, second leg against Ajax (pic: Adam Davy/PA Images).

Tottenham Hotspur's Toni Jimenez, Jesus Perez, manager Mauricio Pochettino, and Miguel D'Agostino celebrate after the final whistle of the Champions League semi-final, second leg against Ajax (pic: Adam Davy/PA Images).

PA Wire/PA Images

A win over Everton could see Spurs finish in the top three for a fourth consecutive season

Both Arsenal and Manchester United's failings last Sunday mean Spurs will be in the Champions League again next season barring an unbelievable sequence of events this weekend.

Tottenham Hotspur's 1-0 defeat at AFC Bournemouth on Saturday appeared to open the door for the likes of Unai Emery's Gunners and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Red Devils, but they both slipped up.

United could only draw away to Huddersfield Town and so can no longer catch the Lilywhites while Arsenal were held by Brighton & Hove Albion at home.

It means the Gunners are three points off Mauricio Pochettino's team with Spurs boasting a better goal difference of +28 compared to +20 for the Emirates outfit with one Premier League game to play.

Tottenham can slightly relax at home to Everton knowing they will almost certainly be in the top four for a fourth straight season and above Arsenal again for the third campaign in a row.

However, Spurs have bigger fish to fry and their focus against the Toffees will be trying to finish in third spot again.

A victory over Marco Silva's in-form team coupled with fellow London rivals Chelsea losing or drawing at Leicester City would see Tottenham come in the top three for a fourth straight year.

Considering how long it took the N17 outfit to finish in the Champions League qualification places, it shows the huge progress made under Pochettino.

Sunday will be tough though, against a side who have endured plenty of ups and downs, but who now seem on track again.

There are similarities between Pochettino's first season at Spurs and this Silva's debut campaign with Everton this term.

Both were under pressure, but came through and ended strongly and the Toffees will hope they can follow in Tottenham's footsteps of regularly securing Champions League football in the coming years.

Everton's form since a 3-2 loss at Newcastle United on March 9 reads played seven, won five, drawn one and lost one and three of those victories were against clubs in the top-six.

It shows their potential and it could be another slog for Spurs on Sunday, but they should be lifted by the fact they have no pressure on them and they have just reached the final of the Champions League.

Heung-min Son and Juan Foyth will be absent, but Erik Lamela should feature alongside others who have not played much of late and Tottenham will aim to finish on a high.

The last 12 months have been demanding, but the future looks bright and Spurs will aim to show that again on Sunday in their penultimate fixture of the campaign before a dream date in Madrid on June 1 with Liverpool to decide Europe's best team.

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