It is going to be a difficult end to the season for Tottenham as they face an uphill battle to finish in the top four. Although it isn’t impossible, they will need to rely on other teams dropping points. In recent weeks, none of the teams have managed to make the 4th position their own, which will offer Spurs hope. This weekend, they host Sheffield United, an already relegated club. It is a fixture that they need to win and it could be one that could give them some confidence to take into the rest of the campaign.
Tottenham are approaching a crucial summer as they are searching for a new manager to lead them forwards. The Jose Mourinho gamble didn’t pay off and they should now bring in a coach able of developing young players. They had this with Mauricio Pochettino and under his management, they scaled heights that were previously unimaginable. The end of the season should provide some excitement under Ryan Mason, but supporters will hold little hope of finishing in the top four. However, the players should have more freedom to express themselves and that could lead to better performances and results.
Sheffield United are approaching a similarly crucial summer, as they attempt to replace arguably the best manager in the club’s recent history. Chris Wilder took the club from League One to the Premier League. Prior to the Covid-19 stoppage last season, the Blades were in contention for European football. They have suffered playing behind closed doors, but they will be in a strong position to bounce back next season due to the financial advantages provided by playing Premier League football. Although there is nothing to play for, the squad will be determined to end their Premier League stay on a high.
In 17 matches against teams in the bottom half of the Premier League table this season, Tottenham have only lost once.
If Sheffield United win on Sunday, it will be the first time they have recorded back-to-back wins in the competition since July.
There will be growing speculation about the long term future of Harry Kane. He has made it clear that he wants to win trophies and he has yet to fulfil that ambition at Tottenham. The recent Carabao Cup final will have been a particular disappointment, as his side weren’t really in the game and it felt like a matter of time before Manchester City broke the deadlock. Kane will have looked at the fortunes of former team-mate Kyle Walker enviously, as the full-back left Tottenham and has won lots of trophies since. There was some discussion about whether Kane was on the decline in recent seasons, but he is a leading candidate to win the PFA Player of the Year award this year. His game has evolved, as he has become the main creator in the Spurs’ team while continuing to score goals at a healthy rate. At the time of writing, the England captain has contributed 21 goals and 13 assists in this season’s Premier League. He is currently the top scorer and assister in the division. Considering Tottenham are in 7th position, that is an exceptional achievement and one that emphasises that Kane belongs at the very top level.
It is going to be a big summer for some of the players in the Sheffield United squad. Despite the poor second season, some have shown that they are good enough to play regularly in the Premier League. John Egan will be one that will believe he has done enough to earn another chance in the top flight. This is an opportunity for him to prove his quality against Harry Kane, the best striker in the division. If he performs well, there will be a chance for him to attract some interest. Egan is very good on the ball and he would suit a team that plays a progressive style. He can offer a threat from set pieces too and that could be important at the weekend.
Harry Kane will be fit to start after looking short of fitness in the cup final. Ben Davies remains the only injury absentee for the home side.
It is hoped that Sander Berge and Chris Basham will be involved in the match day squad. However, Jack O’Connell, Billy Sharp and Oli McBurnie are all still missing.
Despite their recent struggles, Tottenham should have a renewed lease of life under the management of Ryan Mason and this is a good opportunity for the interim boss to take the hand brake off. They should have the quality to score a few past the bottom-placed side and keep their slim hopes of Champions League qualification alive.
Tottenham 3-0 Sheffield United