Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has made Manchester City favourites to finish the Premier League season in the much-coveted fourth spot, which brings with it the chance of Champions League football.
Although Chelsea are still in touching distance of both Spurs and City in the table, Redknapp’s comments suggest he views the Blues as certainties to secure third place at the very least.
Odds of 3/100 for Chelsea to finish in the top four appear to bear this theory out, while Manchester United and Arsenal also look to be lock-ins.
This leaves Spurs and City to battle it out for the remaining place and Redknapp considers the Citizens to have an advantage.
According to the 63-year-old, his side’s continued involvement in this year’s Champions League could hamper their chances of qualifying for next year’s competition as they lack the squad depth to fight on two fronts.
“Playing so many games week in week out does take its toll and you end up paying for it with either injuries or fatigue,” he commented.
“One time this season I was so short of senior players I named two goalkeepers on the bench at Blackburn. Tottenham have been in the top four or five all year. It’s not easy, it’s tough fighting on two fronts.”
Redknapp pointed out that if Spurs beat Real Madrid and progress to the semi-final stage of the Champions League they will have to play twice a week for the foreseeable future.
This is reflected in the betting markets, with Spurs priced at 31/20 to finish in the top four, while City are at 1/4.
However, recent results suggest it is Manchester City who are in danger of losing momentum at a crucial time.
Roberto Mancini’s side have picked up just eight points from their last six games, compared to the 11 earned by Tottenham.
With Spurs just four points behind City with a game in hand, Redknapp could, despite his protestations to the contrary, be in line to pip his Italian counterpart to fourth for the second year in succession.
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