April 30, 2011 | In: Articles
Tottenham can still finish fourth, but so could Arsenal – Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti believes final Champions League spot is an open battle
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti insists that Saturday’s opponents Tottenham could still finish in the final Champions League place.
In a must-win game for the Blues, Ancelotti has told his players not to take anything for granted as they prepare to take on Harry Redknapp’s side in a match that the Spurs manager will also be looking to take all three points.
Spurs record at Stamford Bridge does not favour them, with just one win from their last 10 matches on their local rivals’ turf.
The gap between Redknapp’s men and current fourth place occupiers Manchester City has grown to four points with the north Londoners dropping points of late.
With a tough run-in till the end of the season and games against Chelsea, Liverpool and City still to come, the odds are stacked against Redknapp’s side.
However, Ancelotti believes Spurs can still take the place from the north west team.
“They are involved in the fight for fourth place,” he told reporters.
“They will try to do everything against us because now they have a gap to close to Man City.”
A win against Spurs will help keep the Blues hot on the heels of Manchester United, while the Italian boss will be hoping fellow London side Arsenal can do them a favour when they take the league leaders on in Sunday’s showdown.
The Gunners are just five points clear of City, who have a game in hand, after a crushing defeat last weekend at Bolton.
A fourth place finish for any team does not guarantee a place in the Champions League group stages, with teams needing to go through a qualifying round, something the Gunners could do without.
Ancelotti said: “I think Arsenal will do their best to win. They have less chance to fight for the title. But I think Man City behind them is closer.
“If you arrive third, you don’t have to play the preliminary of the Champions League.”
Meanwhile, Ancelotti has his own battle with the Red Devils to worry about a week on Sunday and knows it will be a crucial clash.
“We have to do our job and our job is to win against Tottenham,” he added.
“It will not be easy because Tottenham is a very good team, very strong.
“But I think that we want to keep open the Premier League until the last minute.
“Obviously, we have to beat Manchester United, we have to beat Tottenham. We want to fight until the last minute of this Premier League.”