Four matches left in the season and all that remains for Tottenham Hotspur is finding some positive takeaways. The odds of sixth place are quite low when considering Brighton’s matches in hand, and while Villa sits level on points and matches for seventh, it still is fair to question if the Conference League is even a prize worth obtaining.
Instead, the focus for Spurs is trying to get things on track as best as they can, and so far Ryan Mason seems up for it. Considering that Richarlison and Pedro Porro have scored under his watch, while Heung-Min Son has put in a couple, it astonishingly seems possible that there could be some optimism heading into the summer, manager search and all.
The calendar now brings Crystal Palace up to North London, with the Eagles perched on their normal spot in the middle of the table. They seem safe from relegation but have not really accomplished much of anything, crashing out of both cups in the third round. Sounds like another chance for something positive on Saturday!
Tottenham Hotspur (t-7th, 54pts) vs. Crystal Palace (11th, 40pts)
Date: Saturday, May 6
Time: 10:00 am ET, 3:00 pm UK
Location: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England
TV: Peacock Premium (USA)
Palace sits 11th, just ahead of fellow mid-table club Chelsea. The results as of late have been good, with four wins and a draw over the last six, but that was preceded by four straight losses, all to top-eight sides. The biggest thing to note is an xG total third-lowest in the league, though two of the past five matches have yielded at least four Palace goals.
The reverse fixture was quite the opposite though, with Spurs bagging four second half goals for a lopsided win. The Eagles’ defense kind of just fell apart after halftime, as Antonio Conte leaned into the 3-4-3. Stronger second halves are not only a Conte thing, however, as this squad does not like to start off matches on the front foot regardless of who is in charge, as seen twice in the past 10 days.
My mood has shifted following the past two matches, and it feels a little weird. Losing to Liverpool is always really annoying, but Tottenham been playing fairly well for the majority of the 180 minutes under Ryan Mason. Additionally, for someone who is ok with the team slipping down the table, maybe this is the best of both worlds.
The key here is simple: give next year’s starters something to build off of. I would like to see more Pape Matar Sarr, Porro, and Richarlison, and getting Son and Kulusevski back in a groove would be really nice as well. Oliver Skipp is another player who feels like there could be a big step forward soon, and giving these players a chance to rally down the stretch is basically all that there is left to play for
The other storyline is yet another looming summer of Harry Kane drama. Perhaps this is the season the club finally says farewell, meaning these could be the final four matches of his illustrious Spurs tenure. If so, there will be plenty of time to look back fondly, so just enjoy the final few moments of brilliance from one of the club’s most influential players ever.