The difference between finishing fourth and fifth in the Premier League has become a significant gap, with the appeal of the Champions League transfixing English clubs.
This season has seen on of the most open divisions in recent memory, with only a matter of a couple of points separating the sides in the title race and at the bottom of the table.
However, the race for fourth place seems to be just as, and more, unpredictable. Like in a close horse race, form and reputations can go out the window when it comes to the biggest stage. At an important race like Cheltenham, it can be difficult to predict a victor.
With Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea all looking relatively certain to contest the title and finish in the top three, the battle for fourth seems to be predominantly between Tottenham and Liverpool.
The Reds are currently in the driving seat to secure Champions League football next term, with a six-point advantage over the North Londoners. With Brenan Rodgers’ men in great form of late, there is every chance they could even be in the title running come the end of the season.
Liverpool’s fate is largely in their own hands, have they have Tottenham still to play at Anfield. If they were to win that fixture it is difficult to see a situation where Spurs could overcome the deficit.
The Anfield outfit also do not have the distraction of European football, with Spurs preparing for an upcoming clash against Benfica.
Tottenham have certainly improved since Tim Sherwood took his place in the White Hart Lane hotseat, but their next four games will define their campaign.
Starting this Saturday, Sherwood’s charges have to take on Chelsea, Arsenal, Southampton and the Reds in the next month – how they get on will determine their Champions League ambitions.
Everton could well get back into the mix after a blip in form, while Manchester United should never be counted out.
However, the likelihood is that it will either be Tottenham or Liverpool that claim the fourth spot, while the other is forced to start all over again next season.