Tottenham Hotspur: 4 Reasons Spurs Are the Favorites for 4th
Although it's still very early in the season, the table is already starting to take shape, and the individual teams are beginning to show their real ambition and potential.
No team is this more true for than Tottenham Hotspur.
They didn't have the smoothest start to their season, after having their opening-day fixture against Everton at home cancelled due to the London riots, and having the two games following that cancellation against two of the strongest teams in the league.
But now that all appears to be behind them, and they are in fine form.
And although they have all but put their early-season woes in the past, their competition for the fourth place spot have not. Their most likely competitors are Liverpool and Arsenal, who have had mediocre starts to their seasons, at best.
Given this, I believe Spurs will beat the Gunners and the Reds and claim the fourth spot, and here's why...
One of the big advantages Spurs have is that they have a wealth of top-quality players in their squad.
Now, it's not that the other 4th-place contenders don't, but this combined with the other advantages Spurs have make them the favorites to reclaim the last Champions League spot.
People like Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart, Defoe, etc. were great last year, but now with the addition of Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor—as well as Friedel in between the goal posts—this team could very well rise to fourth with ease.
Watching any of Spurs' games this season, you can definitely tell that there's a certain style and cohesiveness about the way they play, both individually and as a unit.
Modric and Parker in the midfield keep the ball moving nicely and set up great chances for Ade and Defoe to fire a few into the net.
All the players seem to link up well together, and the potential result of this is not to be underestimated.
As I mentioned before, the three contenders for the fourth-place spot are most likely Spurs, Arsenal, and Liverpool. Because of this fact, Spurs have the upper hand due to the opposition's weakness of late.
Arsenal, Tottenham's hated north-London rivals, have had a rocky start to their season, suffering an embarrassing 8-2 defeat to Manchester United and an even more shameful 4-3 loss to Blackburn. Their new signings have yet to really gel together, and there are several weaknesses in their team that make the Gunners' usual fourth-place finish hardly a certainty.
The same is the case with Liverpool. All of their new summer signings have yet to really click together, and with manager Kenny Dalglish still trying to find his best starting XI, Spurs are looking the all-around better side, as was evidenced by last week's 4-0 thrashing of the Reds at White Hart Lane.
Because Spurs only made a few additions in the summer in Adebayor, Friedel, and Parker, they're already working well as a team, and look leagues ahead of Liverpool and Arsenal.
They Want It the Most
And the last reason I believe Spurs are the favorites to take fourth is that they want it the most.
Now, this isn't to say Arsenal and Liverpool don't want it badly as well, but after getting a taste of Champions League football two seasons ago—only to be knocked out of it the next campaign—Spurs will be hungry to return.
Manager Harry Redknapp certainly believes his team can do it, and the player doubtless believe in themselves, and, provided they make the right moves and continue their persistence, they'll guide themselves right back into the prestigious 'Top 4.'