Tottenham have 11 games of the Premier League season to go as Antonio Conte looks to guide his team to another Champions League finish ahead of Newcastle and Liverpool
Starting the month off with cup exits against Sheffield United and AC Milan, Tottenham can round off their fixtures in March on a positive note at Southampton this weekend. Following an important win on home soil against Nottingham Forest last Saturday, the Lilywhites are now only two points behind Manchester United in third after Erik ten Hag’s team could only manage a point against Southampton.
Tottenham’s opponents this weekend are indeed the Saints, who are fighting for their lives in the battle to avoid the drop at present. Tottenham’s last game of the month as the first international break of 2023 takes place following the conclusion of this weekend’s games, Spurs will actually go into the break in third providing that they win at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.
That is because Tottenham are in Premier League action whereas the Red Devils will be taking on Fulham in their FA Cup quarter-final clash at Old Trafford. Heading into what remains of the season in third and on 51 points would be a major boost for Antonio Conte and his players, although Manchester United would still have two games in hand over them.
So how many points do Tottenham need to tot up in their final 11 fixtures of the 2022/23 campaign to achieve a Champions League finish for the second year in succession?
Well, FiveThirtyEight have run the numbers and Tottenham have a 34% probability of qualifying for the Champions League. That is actually the same as Newcastle United, with both teams predicted to finish the season on 65 points but the Magpies eight ahead on goal difference.
If 65 is to be the magic number this season, Tottenham require a further 17 points from their final 11 games and also a swing in terms of goal difference as Newcastle are on +19 at present and seven ahead of the Lilywhites. Five wins and two draws from their final 11 games would see them achieve their target, as would six wins if it is going to be that tight in terms of goal difference in the fight for fourth.
It does appear that it will be a thrilling finale in the race for the final Champions League place if FiveThirtyEight’s predicted table is anything to go by. Liverpool are down to finish on 64 points – one point behind both Tottenham and Newcastle – with Brighton & Hove Albion a further point behind the Reds on 63.
Sixty-five points would in fact be the lowest total needed to secure a top-four berth since Everton finished fourth on 61 points in the 2004/05 campaign, with the lowest coming 12 months earlier as their Merseyside rivals Liverpool secured Champions League football on 60 points. Over the past decade, teams have had to achieve more than 70 points in seven of the past ten seasons when it comes to finishing fourth.
If last season and the past decade is any indicator with regards to the points total needed for Champions League qualification then Tottenham will need to add a couple more wins to the 65 point total FiveThirtyEight have predicted. It’s certainly achievable but consistency is once again going to be the key when it comes to Tottenham’s aspirations.