Aston Villa drew at home to Liverpool on Monday in the side’s penultimate game of the season. Unai Emery and Villa had the chance to clinch a spot in the UEFA Champions League next season by finishing fourth. A win would have created a seven-point gap over Spurs, with Tottenham having two games left. Instead, Spurs can close the gap to two points if it picks up a win over Manchester City on Tuesday.

That game against Manchester City now has added importance for Tottenham. Had Villa won, it would have put a cap on Tottenham’s season at fifth. That is only good enough for the Europa League. However, the North London side’s game against City had added consequences for the league as a whole. With something to play for, in this case Champions League qualification, there is no need for Ange Postecoglou’s side to sit back and relax against Manchester City.

Now, Spurs require wins to have a chance at the top four. Tottenham has had success against Manchester City, including losing just two of the last nine games against Pep Guardiola’s side in Premier League play. Last season, Spurs defeated the eventual champions at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium courtesy of a lone goal from Harry Kane. A similar result would mean a win in the final matchday against bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United may send Spurs to the Champions League.

That is not a guarantee, though. Aston Villa would still have control of which club finishes fourth even if Tottenham defeats Manchester City. However, Villa must take on an in-form Crystal Palace side that has been flying under Oliver Glasner in recent weeks. Tottenham requires Aston Villa loses in the final matchday against Palace to have any chance to reach the Champions League next season.

Tottenham now has a say on the Premier League title race

Aston Villa will be watching intently to see if Manchester City can deliver it a Champions League spot. That will not be an easy task though, as the game now gets increasingly more challenging for Manchester City.

Villa and Liverpool’s draw on Monday gives Tottenham a bit of hope. Even if Ange Postecoglou’s side recently lost four games on the bounce, having the opportunity to qualify for the Champions League presents a boost. Additionally, Spurs will enter the game with confidence based off previous results against Manchester City. In the return fixture in the current season, Dejan Kulusevski scored a late equalizer to give Spurs a 3-3 draw at the Etihad. Having the backing of fans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium could be the difference as Spurs hunt for a fifth consecutive league win over City when playing at home.

Tottenham’s desire in this game has more of a say than just the Champions League. Arsenal, ironically, will be one of the biggest Tottenham supporters on Tuesday as this game can put Arsenal in the driver’s seat for the league title. Having played one more game than City, Arsenal has a one-point lead than Pep Guardiola’s side. Yet, with a far better goal differential, remaining level on points would be positive for Mikel Arteta.

Pep Guardiola knows how massive Tuesday’s game is, too. He conceded that if City loses, Arsenal will win the title. Granted, nothing would be secure. Arsenal would still need to match or better City’s result against West Ham when the Gunners face Everton. However, based on form, Tottenham can be the deciding factor in the league title race if it gets something out of the City game.