Tottenham’s schedule for next season was already hard to predict, even before the coronavirus crisis added more confusion into the mix.
At the point of the Premier League being suspended, Spurs were eighth. With the side seven points from fourth placed Chelsea with nine games to go, finishing in the Champions League qualification positions was not impossible, but nevertheless tough. Manchester City’s ban from European football promised to open up qualification with a fifth place finish though and with Manchester United only four points ahead, that looked more achievable.
At the least, Tottenham were expected to finish high enough to qualify for the Europa League. Now the current situation could see even that humble ambition come under threat. Let’s look at the possible options as to how the season could be concluded.
Remaining games are played
There is a desire from Premier League clubs to complete the season, with every team playing out their remaining games. These matches would surely have to be played behind closed doors, but other than that, this would be the fairest way to decide how the season finishes.
Yet there are several issues that could prove problematic. The current UK lockdown makes it difficult to see any matches played until some point in May. Meanwhile, there are many players whose contracts expire on June 30th, so ideally clubs would want all fixtures completed by this point. So a lot of games would have to be played in a very short space of time. Will smaller clubs, less able to rotate their teams, vote for such a concept?
Should the season resume, Spurs could have the advantage of having Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son back in action. Jose Mourinho’s team were in very poor form before the break, so can hardly play worse. They are currently rated as the seventh favourites to secure a top four spot by today’s footy predictions sites.
Season is made void
Perhaps the least fair option, but the most beneficial for Tottenham, would be for the season to be made void.
In such a scenario, Liverpool would not win the title and no sides would be relegated. European qualification places would be awarded based on the results from the last completed season, in 2018-19. Conveniently, Spurs finished fourth that season and would therefore qualify for the Champions League again.
Season is concluded based on current results
If it’s impossible to play the remaining matches, then the fairest scenario is to conclude the season based on the results we already have.
Certain teams have games in hand, so it’s impossible to just conclude the season without a little tweaking. It would be necessary to work out an average amount of points earned per match, which is a scenario which would see Arsenal – who have a game in hand – move above Tottenham into eighth place.
This would mean that Spurs would miss out on a Europa League place, even if Manchester City’s ban is upheld. Naturally, you can be assured that Daniel Levy will be fighting very hard against this outcome being chosen.