2016/17 Premier League
Published: 10:09 03/05/2012
Tottenham defeated Bolton 4-1 at the Reebok to close within a point of third placed Arsenal and boost hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season.
Three goals in nine minutes mid way through the second half gave Tottenham back-to-back victories for the first time since January but Newcastle’s shock 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge leaves the race for a Champions League spot wide open.
Papiss Cisse struck twice to keep Newcastle firmly in contention, separated from Tottenham on goal difference with two games remaining. Defeat at Stamford Bridge leaves Chelsea four points adrift of Newcastle and it looks ever more likely that a win against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final will be required to reach next season’s competition. Meanwhile Arsenal, Spurs and Newcastle will be hoping Bayern Munich will do them the favour of beating Chelsea to open the way for qualification from fourth.
Online bookmaker Ladbrokes is betting which teams will finish in the top four, with Manchester City and Manchester United guaranteed to occupy the top two positions, it’s a four team race for the remaining slots.
Arsenal are 1/12 to finish in the top four with a home game against declining Norwich and a visit to West Brom to come. On paper, Tottenham’s last two games don’t appear too difficult and Harry Redkapp’s side is rated 1/4, but they travel to Birmingham on Sunday to play relegation strugglers Aston Villa and the final match is a London derby at home to Fulham. Newcastle have been defying the odds all season and Ladbrokes take no chances offering 7/4 for the Magpies to finish in the top four. Alan Pardew’s side must face Premier League leaders Manchester City at Sports Direct Arena on Sunday before going to Everton on the final day of the season.
Chelsea face a hectic finale to the season, with the FA Cup final on Saturday and the Champions League final as major distractions to the remaining two Premier League games at Liverpool and home to Blackburn. It looks like Roberto Di Matteo will have little option but to rotate his squad over the next two and a half weeks and Ladbrokes bet 25/1 Chelsea to finish in the top four.
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