Spurs Confident of Catching Leicester after Thrashing Stoke 0-4 - But Aren’t Without a Fight on Their Hands
With just four in-season games left to play this year, Tottenham Hotspur have issued a stern warning to current Premier League leaders Leicester City. That warning? ‘We’re taking the Premier League title.’
The football fighting talk came after Spurs impressive 0-4 battering of ninth-place Stoke City on April 18th. Rolling up to the Britannia Stadium on a chilly April evening, the visitors dominated the hosts throughout the 90 minutes, with two goals apiece from Dele Alli and Harry Kane cementing Spurs ' position as second in the table.
It’s not over yet
Yet despite being five points behind from the same number of games as Leicester, Kane himself insists it's not all over til it's over.
"If we keep playing that, there aren't many teams who can beat us," the striker (who took his Premier League goal score to 24 in Monday's game) told reporters after the match, adding that with both Tottenham and Leicester still having four games left, Spurs were confident they could prize the title from the grasp of the current leaders.
Kane’s boss, Mauricio Pochettino backed up his star striker's confidence, adamant that his squad "really believe," they can achieve their dream of finishing this season's Premier League as undisputed champions.
Credit where it’s due
Not that Spurs themselves are the only ones seeing glory in the club's near future.
"Sometimes, you've go to give credit to the opposition," said Stoke City boss Mark Hughes after his team's 0-4 thrashing. "They're quick, sharp and have the kind of edge that chasing big trophies brings. You wouldn't bet against them catching Leicester."
Or would you? When it comes placing a bet on football games in the closing weeks of the 2015-2016 Premier League season, it’s worth noting that not only will all teams be upping the ante to secure the best possible position, but that Tottenham themselves have still got a few uphill battles to overcome.
April 25th - Tottenham vs. West Brom
West Brom may be languishing in 14th position at time of writing, but when they last met Spurs back on December fifth, the club did enough to stop the current second-placers from leaving The Hawthorns with the full three points.
This was despite an exhilarating start for Mauricio Pochettino's men, who took the lead in the first fifteen minutes thanks to Deli. With that done, the team -unwisely with hindsight- took their foot off the proverbial gas and eased up, allowing the hosts to come back with a James McClean header just before the first half whistle.
If the club have any chance of closing the gap on Leicester, they'll need to learn from this mistake and drive home with the kind of intensity they've displayed in their last 10 victories from 13 games.
May 2nd - Chelsea vs. Tottenham
Another day, another chance to right the wrongs of their last meeting and take home the three points. Spurs last met Chelsea in early December and could only secure a 0-0 draw then too, so fans hoping to put their money behind the title contenders will have to surely hope that the club can bring their recent winning form, rather than their pre-Christmas run of draws, to Stamford Bridge.
May 8th - Tottenham vs. Southampton
Finally, a bright spot in Tottenham's track record against their last four Premier League opponents of the season.
Last meeting the week before Christmas 2015, the game marked Harry Kane's 100th appearance for Spurs, a milestone he celebrated by scoring an easy goal in the 40th minute.
Given his recent form, all signs point to the striker adding to his tally when the two clubs meet again at White Hart Lane this May.
May 15 - Newcastle vs. Tottenham
The club play their final Premier League outing of the season at 3pm on SUnday May 15th against a club they last lost 1-2 against back in December.
Much as they did against West Brom, Spurs came out strong in the opening moments, holding the lead throughout much of the game before the Magpies came back, and eventually stole the win thanks to a stoppage time goal from substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic.
So whilst the Stoke victory has no doubt been a huge boost to Tottenham's confidence as they had into the last few games, they're going to need a lot more than just that if they're to produce better results than in their last outings against their upcoming opponents and ultimately give those betting on Spurs to win the title something to cheer about.