Tottenham Hotspur has won just one of their past nine English Premier League matches, but caught a huge break in the race for fourth place in the league on Saturday when Newcastle were thumped 4-0 at Wigan and Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw at Stoke.
They hope to take advantage of the situation on April 29 when they host the relegation-fighting Blackburn Rovers at White Hart Lane. Spurs are clinging to the hope that they can finish fourth and make it to next season’s European Champions League competition while Blackburn is hoping just to stay in the EPL.
Spurs were in good position several weeks ago as they were in third place with a 10-point lead over Arsenal. If they have any hope of catching third-place Arsenal or fourth-place Newcastle they have no choice other than to take all three points from Blackburn. If history’s anything to go by it looks good for the London club as they’ve beaten the Rovers the past five times they’ve met.
Spurs are currently in fifth place in the standings with 59 points from 17 wins, nine draws and eight losses. They have just four games and a possible 12 points to overhaul the two teams ahead of them. They might be able to catch Newcastle as they’re just three behind them, but Arsenal will be tough to track down as they have a seven-point lead on Spurs. Tottenham is just one point ahead of Chelsea too going into the weekend.
Blackburn is in 19th spot with 31 points from eight wins, seven draws and 20 losses. Queens Park Rangers and Bolton also have 34 points while Wigan and Aston Villa have 37 each. This means it’s crucial for Blackburn to put as many points together in their last three games or they’ll be joining Wolves in the championship League next season.
Spurs defender Ledley King said his team’s confidence has dropped lately, but still feels they can finish in the top four. He admits that they might need to win all four games to do it though. They’ll have to play without defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto as he’s likely out for the season with a shoulder injury. David Bentley, Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas, and Niko Kranjcar are also expected to miss the game while Louis Saha, Younes Kaboul, and Emmanuel Adebayor should all be back.
Blackburn should have midfielder Simon Vukcevic back in the squad after recovering from a virus. Jason Lowe is also expected back while Grant Hanley and Vincenzo Grella are expected to miss the game. Blackburn has won just once and lost the other four in their past five games with the same record in their past five away matches. Spurs have a win, two draws, and two losses in their last five with two wins, a draw, and two losses in their last five at home.
Predictions and Betting Odds
Look for Blackburn to put up a good fight here and they could do enough to get out of London with a draw.
Sportsbook William Hill has the latest odds on the match. A Tottenham win is listed at 2/5 with a Blackburn victory at 7/1 and a draw at 7/2.