When Antonio Conte arrived in north London in November, Tottenham were in a position where they were struggling to find consistency under Nuno Espirito Santo. In just over six months, the Italian has made major improvements both on and off the pitch.
Conte has had an influence on individual performances and the team as a whole, as well as welcoming Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski to the squad. Spurs are now competing for a spot inside the top four, with just two games left to play, highlighting how far they have come.
The Lilywhites welcome Burnley to N17 on Sunday, in their final home game of the campaign. A week later and on the final day of the season, Tottenham will travel to Norwich.
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Spurs have to get maximum points from both games and will then have to hope that Arsenal drop points in one of their matches, in order to overtake them in the league. Tottenham’s 3-0 victory in the North London Derby was a solid display and with the Gunners now losing Rob Holding, after he was sent off in the Arsenal defeat, it has added another blow to Mikel Arteta’s list of absentees.
Arsenal have a difficult trip to St James’ Park on Monday, before they face their final game of the season at home, against Everton. Newcastle is always a tough fixture at their stadium and with it being their final home game of the season, the Gunners are set to face another intimidating atmosphere when they travel North.
On the final day of the season, Everton could still be fighting to stay in the Premier League, adding difficulty to the clash. Tottenham will be hoping that two familiar faces can help them secure Champions League football for next season and help Arsenal drop points.
Kieran Trippier left Tottenham in 2019, but made his return to the Premier League in January, with a permanent move to Newcastle. Just a few games after he joined, the defender suffered a metatarsal fracture, which kept him out of action for a good couple of months.
However he made his return in his side’s 5-0 defeat to Man City last weekend and played just under half an hour. Before his injury blow, Trippier had made an impact on his new side and scored two goals in his first four appearances.
Spurs fans will hope that the defender will get more game time against Arsenal and add to his goal tally. Ahead of the Monday night game, the 31-year-old spoke about helping his former side out, when the Magpies take on Arteta’s side.
“It’s a massive occasion, the last home game of the season. The fans have been unbelievable since I arrived,” he admitted.
“Arsenal are fighting to get in the top four, I want to help Tottenham obviously and then Burnley staying up. It’s two different types of matches and they’re going to be up for it so we’ve got to make sure we match that.”
When the Gunners face Everton, they could come up against Dele Alli, who only left N17 in January. The midfielder has struggled for game time, since his move to play under Frank Lampard and is yet to play 90 minutes for the Toffees.
Ahead of Everton’s final games, Lampard has spoken about how Dele can break into the starting XI and what the future hold for the 26-year-old. “I have had those discussions with him, he’ll be very clear as to where I am and at the moment I’m much more concerned about the collective getting over the line as a group,” the Toffees boss admitted.
“If Dele plays his part in these three games then great and he steps up as he’s come on at times and done good things for us. It’s an area of the squad where we have other players who have been playing, that’s just the reality of the situation.
“He needs to just keep training hard and stay really well focused and fight for the opportunity,” Lampard added. With Dele’s North London Derby experience, Tottenham fans may be hoping the Everton boss gives the midfielder a chance, on the final day of the season against Arsenal.
If the 26-year-old does make an appearance, Spurs supporters will be hoping he can make a big impact, impressing his boss and hopefully damaging Arsenal’s chances of getting into the top four. All Tottenham can do is focus on getting two wins in their final couple of matches and will have to sit and hope that if they can do their part, the Gunners drop points.