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Tottenham could finish outside top four if they lose to Arsenal - Sherwood

2:17 am AEDT 2/3/19
Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham 2018-19
The former Spurs player and manager insists Maurico Pochettino's men cannot afford another defeat against their arch-rivals on Saturday

Tottenham's chances of finishing in the top four this season could completely disappear if they lose to Arsenal at Wembley, according to former boss Tim Sherwood.

Spurs have lost back to back Premier League games against Burnley and Chelsea over the last eight days, which has seen them fall nine points behind table-toppers Liverpool.

Mauricio Pochettino's men had hoped to be involved in the title race until the bitter end, but a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday all but ended their challenge for this year.

It is now imperative for Tottenham to hold onto third place, with arch-rivals Arsenal only four points behind them in the standings.

Ahead of a huge North London Derby on Saturday, Sherwood - who racked up over 90 appearances for Spurs as a player and served as head coach for a short spell in the 2013-14 campaign - believes another defeat could ultimately cost them a place in next year's Champions League.

“It’s always a massive game, but this time when you look at where both teams are positioned in the league, it doesn’t get much bigger than this,” Sherwood told TalkSport on Friday.

“Realistically did we think they [Tottenham] were title contenders? To be honest, I thought they were with the squad they’ve got, but I had Liverpool and Manchester City above them as favourites so you can’t really complain if they fell out of the top-two.

“But to finish outside of the top four would be a very disappointing season, so it’s in the balance. It’s in their hands.

“This is a huge game. Winning the north London derby almost puts everything back on track and they’ve still got to go to man city and Liverpool, so there are so very tough fixtures coming up for Tottenham.

“I believe they will stay there, but I think they have to win tomorrow to be able to do that.”

Arsenal and Spurs have already met twice this season, with the former winning the first contest 4-2 at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League back in early December.

Tottenham enacted their revenge three weeks later, knocking the old enemy out of the Carabao Cup with a comfortable 2-0 away win, but the Gunners come into the latest contest in better form.

Unai Emery's team have won their last three games across all competitions and are fresh from a thumping 5-1 victory over Bournemouth in midweek.

Spurs meanwhile, could have one eye on their crucial Champions League encounter next Tuesday, as they defend a 3-0 first leg lead in their last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund in Germany