Article by Matthew Comito – Follow @matthewcomito
Through wild snow and bitter cold, the competition for spots in the Premier League top four continues to bring the heat.
Tottenham, who regained fourth place last weekend for the first time since November, will be hoping to improve on their position in the league come sunnier days in May.
Runaway leaders Manchester City have all but sewn up their place in the Champions League for the 2018/19 campaign.
With 10 games remaining, which teams join the league leaders in the top four by the end of the season remains to be seen.
Coming into the weekend, Tottenham trail Liverpool, Manchester United and City, in third, second and first respectively.
Chelsea are two points adrift of Spurs in fifth, followed by Arsenal, who are currently 10 points off their North-London rivals.
All five teams remain confident they will succeed in their hunt for a highly coveted place in the Champions League.
For some, the road to the finish line is clearer than others.
Of the 10 remaining game weeks, United, Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal all play six fixtures against teams currently in the bottom half of the table.
Tottenham and Liverpool play two games against top six rivals, whilst United and Chelsea play three.
Arsenal has only one top-six tie remaining.
A fixture shaping to be pivotal in deciding the final standings occurs in the penultimate round of the season, when Chelsea host Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
A win could launch one team into the top four at the expense of the other, whilst a draw could leave both sides vulnerable of being overtaken.
Tottenham begin their run towards the end of the season at Wembley this afternoon as they host Huddersfield.
Under Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham have gone 21 games undefeated against newly promoted sides, amassing 20 wins and one draw.
Regardless of statistics and form weighing heavily in Tottenham’s favour, Pochettino appreciates the risk of underestimating Huddersfield, and the importance of consolidating his side’s spot in the top four.
“I think in the Premier League all games are tough,” he said.
“To be involved in the table, or a position to fight for the top four it is important for us to win the three points.”
Tottenham will again be without Belgian centre-back Toby Alderweireld, who is continuing recovery from a hamstring injury.
Jan Vertonghen has returned to first team training after missing Spurs’ gritty 1-0 win over Crystal Palace through injury, and is in contention to rejoin the match day squad to face Huddersfield.
Looking beyond the weekend, Tottenham will have fixtures against Chelsea and Manchester City pencilled in as games that could determine their fate in the race for a top four position.
With six points currently separating second and fifth, the results of fixtures between top six rivals could prove to be the difference come the end of the season.
However, the games in between against sides lower down the table throw up ample opportunity for surprises.
And Tottenham should be mindful whilst chasing the sun of spring, not to slip in the snow.