Sunday Night Takeaway: Tottenham win again but face demanding April fixtures

Plus Manchester United's Top 4 hopes are alive and the relegation battle is poised for excitement

BY Raf Diallo 21:40 Sunday 20 March 2016, 21:40 20 Mar 2016

Picture by: John Walton / PA Archive/Press Association Images

With another weekend gone, the Premier League title race is realistically a two-horse and assuming Arsenal build up a head of steam, a three-horse race.

Now that the international break gives clubs, if not players, some breathing room, April becomes ever more important for the key teams at the top and bottom of the table.

Tottenham's testing April

After dispatching Aston Villa and Bournemouth by a 5-0 aggregate score in their past two games, Spurs remain five points behind Premier League leaders Leicester and six ahead of Arsenal, having played a game more.

But now comes a defining month of April with some testing fixtures on paper: Liverpool (away), Man United (home), Stoke (away) and West Brom (home).

The latter fixture is far from insurmountable, although Tony Pulis will make it awkward. Stoke away is always a tough proposition to get all three points. Leicester, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Man City are among the sides to have either lost or drawn there this season, while Spurs were held to a 2-2 draw against the Potters earlier in the campaign at White Hart Lane.

On paper, Liverpool and Manchester United are challenging prospects but realistically Spurs have been superior to both teams across the campaign, although not head-to-head with United beating them on the opening day and Liverpool drawing in London.

The only question is whether, Mauricio Pochettino's side can maintain their composure against two of the Premier League's traditional heavyweights as they go hell for leather to close in on Leicester.

Norwich City's Robbie Brady celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich. Picture by: Martin Rickett / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Norwich is the wildcard but who holds the aces?

Norwich sit in 17th ahead of Sunderland and Newcastle, although they have played a game more.

But the Canaries do have destiny in their own hands as they host Newcastle and Sunderland next month in fixtures which will have a direct impact on which club of the trio survives the drop.

As goals from Newcastle and Sunderland's strikers today showed, forwards could be crucial and that is where Norwich are not so golden with none of their players notching more than five goals this season.

Man City in an awkward position

The 2014 Premier League champions' Top Four hopes are now on very shaky ground after a 1-0 home defeat to Manchester United, which opens the potential for Champions League qualification to their rivals.

Manuel Pellegrini has guided City to their first Champions League quarter-final this season but between the outgoing manager and the players, their overall domestic season has been unacceptable given their vast wealth and experience.

Pep Guardiola will be watching with interest to see if City can pull themselves together in the Top Four race, but if Premier League form nosedives to the extent that the likes of West Ham and Man United leapfrog them next month, the club could find themselves forced to go down the caretaker route and part ways with a manager in Pellegrini who is already leaving at the end of the season. 


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