Aston Villa have big Tottenham Champions League advantage amid Premier League run-in

Aston Villa and Tottenham are in a battle for a Champions League finish in what remains of the season

A top-four finish could look a long way off for Ange Postecoglou and Tottenham by the time Sunday's North London Derby against Arsenal kicks off. Sitting fifth in the Premier League table ahead of the final push, the Lilywhites currently trail Aston Villa by six points but they do crucially have two games in hand to come.

However, they are not the most straightforward of fixtures with Chelsea away and Premier League title contenders Man City on the agenda over the next three weeks. Although the Blues have endured a miserable campaign with their results continuing to fluctuate under Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham have a rotten record when it comes to winning at Stamford Bridge and there are no guarantees that things will turn in their favour in SW6 for once.

A home showdown against Man City comes in the final week of the season, with the sides meeting in north London on Tuesday, May 14. On the subject of poor records, Man City have not enjoyed their trips to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium having only won one of their six visits to Spurs' new home, scoring just the one goal in the process.

This time around things could be slightly different with the Premier League title potentially on the line for the visitors. One thing for certain is that Tottenham are going to have to fare well in their games in hand and ideally come out with maximum points if they are to finish about Aston Villa in the final league standings.

What could play into Unai Emery and Aston Villa's hands this weekend and possibly give them a big advantage in the race for the top four is that they play before Tottenham. The Midlands club are in action on Saturday evening in the 8pm kick-off as they welcome Chelsea to Villa Park.

Villa will be the red-hot favourites to prevail in that contest due to their impressive home record this term and also because the Blues come into the fixture on the back of a 5-0 drubbing at Arsenal. Without main man Cole Palmer for the game at the Emirates Stadium in midweek, Chelsea could be a different proposition altogether at Villa with their top goalscorer possibly back in the side. That's what Tottenham will be hoping anyway.

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The Blues have already recorded a 3-1 win over Saturday's opponents at Villa Park this season having delivered a devastating display in the FA Cup. Pochettino will want more of the same from his players, thus possibly giving his former club Tottenham a helping hand in the battle for Champions League football as a result.

If it is indeed Aston Villa who come out on top, Spurs will be nine points behind their Champions League rivals going into Sunday's pivotal North London Derby with three games in hand to play. That could be huge in the context of the campaign, especially as it could be Arsenal who win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for a second successive season to keep their title ambitions alive.

A vast deficit in the top-four race will only pile the pressure on Tottenham as they look to return to the Champions League after one season away. Still a number of games left to be played in the season with Villa facing Brighton & Hove Albion, Liverpool and Crystal Palace in the run-in, Tottenham have Chelsea, Liverpool, Burnley, Man City and Sheffield United all to come after facing Arsenal.

There will undoubtedly be plenty more twists and turns before the final day but this weekend's fixtures could prove key in who will be playing Champions League football from September onwards and who gets their hands on the Premier League title. All eyes will be on Tottenham Hotspur Stadium at 2pm on Sunday as Spurs look to respond to Aston Villa's result in the best way possible and also hand their north London rivals a major title blow in the process.

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