ARSENAL goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has questioned whether Tottenham possess the quality to finish in the Premier League’s top four as the battle for Champions League qualification between London’s top clubs intensifies.
Fifth-placed Spurs, boasting triple-award winner Gareth Bale, travel to Chelsea tomorrow two places and three points behind the Blues, while also trailing their north London rivals by two points having played one match less.
Defeat at Stamford Bridge would make it virtually impossible for Spurs to catch Chelsea due to a far inferior goal difference, leaving the prospect of a straight shootout between Arsenal and Andre Villas-Boas’s team for the remaining top-four spot.
And Szczesny, whose team has taken 20 points from a possible 24 available since losing the north London derby 2-1 at White Hart Lane in March, feels weaknesses in Spurs’ squad will see them miss out on playing in Europe’s elite club competition next season.
“If we win our next two games it will be enough because either Chelsea or Spurs will drop points because they play each other,” he said. “If you look at Chelsea’s fixtures, they have Tottenham and Everton left and they won’t be easy games, and Tottenham do not have enough quality.”
Arsenal are without a fixture this weekend, as scheduled opponents Wigan play Manchester City in the FA Cup final.
Therefore, the Gunners could be fifth by the time they kick off against the Latics next Tuesday, but Szczesny is confident victory at the Emirates Stadium followed by a final-day three points at struggling Newcastle will be enough to secure a 15th consecutive season of Champions League football.
He said: “I’d settle for another two 1-0 [wins] for the rest of the season and a place in the top three.”
THE RACE FOR EUROPE
Chelsea – third – 68 points
■ Wed 8 May, home to Tottenham
■ Sat 11 May, away to Aston Villa
■ Sun 19 May, home to Everton
Arsenal – fourth – 67 points
■ Tues 14 May, home to Wigan
■ Sun 19 May, away to Newcastle
Tottenham – fifth – 65 points
■ Wed 8 May, away to Chelsea
■ Sun 12 May, away to Stoke
■ Sun 19 May, home to Sunderland