The battle for European football is on as Sheffield United welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Bramall Lane as the Premier League continues. There is just one point to separate the two teams with Sheffield United having lost three on the bounce in all competitions. Spurs beat West Ham United last time out.
Battle for Europe as Sheffield United Welcome Tottenham Hotspur
Tumultuous Season for Tottenham
Tottenham’s season has been one of turmoil. After finishing last season as runners up in the Champions League Final, hopes were high that the north London club would hit the ground running this season.
The reality has been a sluggish season that has seen Mauricio Pochettino sacked and Jose Mourinho replace him. Despite a decent start, Spurs laboured before the lockdown but have shown some form on their return. A point against Manchester United was followed by the aforementioned victory over London rivals West Ham United.
Sheffield United have had a stunning return to the Premier League but have lost two games post restart. This is a game that both teams want to win to keep up that battle for Europe.
Chris Wilder’s men have not had much good fortune since the restart. The infamous ‘ghost goal’ at Villa Park cost them two points whilst going down to ten men against Newcastle United saw them drop all three points. They had chances against Arsenal in the FA Cup Quarter Final but squandered some gilt-edged opportunities. A late equaliser was quickly wiped out as their chance of a trophy ended. Chris Wilder will be working hard with his players to ensure they don’t make any errors this time out.
Harry Kane Back in the Goals
Despite six months out injured, Harry Kane was back amongst the goals against West Ham with a typically clinical finish. That will not be music to Sheffield United’s ears and Son Heung-Min is yet to hit form so they will need to be ready for a hungry Mourinho side.
Battle for Europe – a Bonus for One, a Must for the Other
To qualify for either the Champions League or Europa League would be an incredible bonus for Sheffield United and would see Chris Wilder vying for the manager of the year award.
For Tottenham, on the other hand, Champions League qualification has to be the aim from the final games. Failure would result in a worrying season for the club and would raise questions over star players’ futures. Despite getting close to the Premier League and Champions League in recent seasons, a lack of action in the elite European competition could cost Tottenham dear, both financially and in terms of playing staff.
In terms of Sheffield United’s season, victory would be a great step back to form. A victory for Tottenham isn’t an ambition, it has to happen and Jose Mourinho will be pushing his team to keep a top-four finish within their grasp.