By Emmanuel Umoru
London Rivals Continue Battle For Top-Four Finish
The Premier League title race takes a breather at the weekend as the FA Cup takes centre stage but the scrap for fourth place continues with Arsenal still in the box seat despite Wednesday’s home defeat by Liverpool.
Fourth-placed Arsenal travel to Aston Villa on Saturday while a day later London rivals West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur, who are sixth and seventh respectively, meet in a derby that has taken on huge significance.
Arsenal’s five-match winning run in the league ended in the 2-0 defeat by title-chasing Liverpool but their form since the turn of the year has given them a great chance of a return to the Champions League for the first time since 2017.
Mikel Arteta’s side have 51 points from 27 games, one ahead of Manchester United who have played two games more. West Ham have 48 points from 29 games while Tottenham also have 48 from 28 with Wolverhampton Wanderers, who host Leeds United on Friday, on 46 from 29.
It is intriguingly poised and this weekend could prove pivotal for the hopes of West Ham and Tottenham.
For much of the season West Ham have looked the best bet to claim a top-four finish in the Premier League for the first time and achieve their best top-flight finish since 1986.
They have been reeled in by Arsenal, however, and defeat at Tottenham on Sunday would be a hammer blow to their hopes of welcoming Europe’s elite at the London Stadium.
Unpredictable Tottenham, on the other hand, have revived their hopes with four wins in their last six league games and despite the suspicion that a bad performance is never far away, they are back in the mix.