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Robbie Keane: Fifth place would be a disappointment for Spurs

24 Apr | BY Robbie Keane | MIN READ TIME |
Robbie Keane: Fifth place would be a disappointment for Spurs

In his latest column, the Betway ambassador gives his thoughts on the title race, Spurs and Villa's battle for a top-four spot and Evan Ferguson's form for Brighton.

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Man City’s experience gives them title edge

It’s been the best Premier League title race for a while, and the next couple of games will determine just how close it will be, but I can only see Man City winning it now. I said at the start of the season that I had a feeling it was going to be close, but I just think, with the experience they have, Man City will get over the line.

On paper, they have the easiest run-in, while Liverpool and Arsenal have it tougher. Sometimes it doesn’t work out like that, but I can see Man City beating all the teams that they have to play, while the other two teams have some difficult games.

City do still have Tottenham to play, and Spurs fans, of course, will not want Arsenal to win the league. There’s no question about that. But as professional players, Spurs will still want to beat whoever’s in front of them and will do their best against Man City.

The North London derby is also still to come and I used to love those games as a player. The one that stands out to me was when we beat them 5-1 in the League Cup semi-final. In the Premier League, I was the last Spurs player to score at Highbury. It finished 1-1 but it was great game, and it got a bit feisty off the pitch between Martin Jol and Arsene Wenger!

There’s obviously a lot riding on this one, because Spurs will want to beat Arsenal to stop them having any chance of winning the league.

I wouldn’t say Spurs are favourites because of the position Arsenal are in, but Spurs will definitely give them a good game with the way they play, and how Ange Postecoglu plays his football. It will be an interesting game, and one I’m certainly looking forward to.

I think for the Premier League from a neutral point of view, it’s good that it’s a lot closer than it has been in previous years. Man City have dominated over the years, but it’s been a surprise that Liverpool, considering the players that they brought in and lost over the summer, are up there and still fighting. Arsenal bought well in the summer and also look strong going forward.

Fifth would be a blow after Spurs’ strong start

It’s obviously now between Spurs and Aston Villa for the top four. Villa have had an unbelievable season and beat Arsenal last week, so it’s going to be too close to call. Spurs have got some big games coming up.

I think finishing fifth for Spurs would be a disappointment, certainly after they had a really good start to the season. A club like Tottenham with the players that they have, I think you would expect to finish in the top four.

They have some decisions to make over the summer, including whether to make Timo Werner’s loan move permanent. I think he has done OK. He’s got a lot of pace, but doesn’t score a lot of goals. I would suggest that Spurs would be looking for another striker to pair with Richarlison, and putting Son back on the left, so whether they keep Werner or not, I’m not sure.

Ancelotti’s Real Madrid are Champions League giants

With how they played against Real Madrid – especially at home – you’d have expected Man City to go through in the Champions League. They were playing against a giant of a team in Real Madrid, though, who have history of qualifying. Bayern Munich are the same. Historically, in the Champions League, they’re big outfits.

I can see Real Madrid going on to win it now. Of course, Bayern Munich are not going to be a walkover because they’re a good, strong team. Maybe in the Bundesliga they haven’t produced, but certainly in Champions League over the years they always have done.

I just think Carlo Ancelotti is a genius of a manager. He’s so experienced in these games in the Champions League, so I can only see Real Madrid.

Tough times will make Evan Ferguson better

Evan Ferguson is going through a bit of a rough patch, but he is a young lad and this happens to young players all the time. You have to give them time.

You’re always going to go through a spell where you’re not scoring goals, or you’re not in the team, but that’s just part of learning, growing and developing as a young player.

I would like to think it will only stand him in good stead going forward, and this is where your mental toughness comes in as a player.

Southgate faces tough decisions in attack

You would have to say that, on paper, England are the strongest team heading into the Euros. I can see why people would think that they are the favourites, and I wouldn’t go against that, although teams like France who have plenty of experience in these tournaments will be strong as well.

Of their attacking options, Ollie Watkins has had an unbelievable season and now Ivan Toney’s coming back strong. He hasn’t scored for Brentford for a while, but he’s a handful. There’s no reason why Southgate couldn’t take the two of them, but it depends on who he feels is a better fit for his team. Harry Kane is, of course, going to be the No. 1 striker if he’s fit, but they are not bad back-ups to have.

Cole Palmer has been exceptional. To go straight into a team like Chelsea, hit the ground running and continue to be consistent – good for him. He’s a really cool player, nice to watch and good on the eye. Like any player in his position, it’s all about numbers and his have been incredible this season. He’s definitely one that should be on the plane.

Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane

Republic of Ireland's all-time record goalscorer who also scored 355 goals in 737 club appearances.

Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane

Republic of Ireland's all-time record goalscorer who also scored 355 goals in 737 club appearances.