Tottenham Hotspur: 4 Most Important Matches Left in Premier League Campaign
With nine matches remaining in their Premier League season, Tottenham are in position to achieve their season's goal of Champions League football.
However, the club's position was made slightly more tenuous in Sunday's 3-2 loss to Liverpool at Anfield.
The result ended Tottenham's 12-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, a string of results that had spanned back to early December.
Further, it means that Spurs have now played one more match than each of the clubs chasing them, opening the door for them to make up ground.
After last season's midseason slump and subsequent failure in the chase for Champions League football, it makes sense for Tottenham supporters to be a little concerned about their side's hopes this season. As a result, many are left counting down the hours until the final kick of the Premier League season, hoping it comes to an end with no more drama than is necessary.
While every Spurs match is important from here on out, there are obviously some that are either more difficult or carry more weight than others.
So what matches should fans of the North London club keep an eye out on this final stretch?
Here are the four most important matches left in Tottenham's Premier League campaign.
Tottenham vs. Everton, April 7
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Tottenham's match with Everton on April 7 opens a tough stretch of matches for the club, one that will only be made tougher should they achieve safe passage to the Europa League quarterfinals.
Everton currently sits in seventh place in the league, nine points behind Spurs. However, their match in hand gives the Toffees an outside chance of catching Spurs should they have a good final few matches.
However, the club has proved their ability to finish league campaigns strongly over the past few years and will be looking to do so once more.
Tottenham will be looking for revenge after the two clubs' first meeting of the season which saw two stoppage-time goals turn a 1-0 Spurs lead turn into a 2-1 loss at Goodison.
With tough matches coming up after this one and home-field advantage favoring them, Tottenham might need a strong display and all three points in this one.
Chelsea vs. Tottenham, April 14
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Road matches against London rivals are always difficult prospects, but Tottenham will hope that they can get a good result at Stamford Bridge in this one.
With Chelsea trailing by two points at the moment, Spurs may need to hold off the Blues in order to keep their spot in the top four.
Chelsea may have had their struggles under manager Rafael Benitez this season, but the West Londoners seem to be gelling at the moment and are always a threat.
Spurs will hope that they can avenge their 4-2 loss at White Hart Lane from earlier in the season, when William Gallas gifted the opponents three goals and the three points.
A draw would go a long way in this one.
Tottenham vs. Manchester City, April 21
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Despite the fact that this match is taking place at White Hart Lane, this one might be the toughest match left for Tottenham.
Manchester City has had Spurs' number over the past few seasons, winning the past four consecutive meetings and going unbeaten in the past five, including a 2-1 victory at the Etihad earlier this season.
As the Citizens are desperately trying to get back into the title race, City might be on a mission when this match rolls around. With the amount of talent at their disposal, that would be bad news for Tottenham.
However, should City lose to Manchester United at Old Trafford on April 8, the title race could be completely wrapped up by this one, taking the sting out of the contest.
This is not a match anyone would have circled as a victory for Spurs before the season, so a win could go a long way in cementing their place in the top four.
A loss, on the other hand, could damage their aspirations, especially if the few weeks prior to this one do not go to plan.
Stoke City vs. Tottenham, May 12
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It's not often that one circles a late-season matchup with a mid-table club as an important one, but Stoke City are a special case.
Over the past few seasons, the Potters have showcased their home-field advantage, playing incredibly at home and poorly away.
This season has been no different. Through 15 matches away from home, Stoke has just nine points; in 14 at the Britannia Stadium, they have 24.
Spurs fell prey to this last season, losing a tight 2-1 contest at Stoke. In fact, Tottenham are winless in their last three encounters with Stoke.
With this being Spurs' penultimate match in their Premier League season, the club may need a win this time around in order to cement their place in the top four.
As Stoke's place in the top flight probably secure and nothing more to play for, Tottenham supporters can hope the Potters won't show up for this one.
If they do, though, this could definitely be a tricky one.
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