Spurs striker: Tottenham can overtake Arsenal and finish third this season

Crouch believes Spurs can break into the top three this season

Peter Crouch believes that Tottenham should be fighting for third place in the Premier League this season, and insists that this could be the year when Spurs overtake Arsenal.

Crouch was on target for the Lilywhites on Saturday, when Harry Redknapp’s side beat Athletic Bilbao in their final pre-season friendly at White Hart Lane.

And, while the England forward concedes that a title challenge may be beyond Tottenham this campaign, he is backing Spurs to finish above Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool.

“I believe Arsenal are catchable, although I still think they are top class,” he said. “They haven’t lost any players - there has been so much speculation about players going but they are still a very strong side.

“In my opinion Manchester United and Chelsea are going to be the two to beat, but other than that we are capable of finishing above the rest.

“It’s amazing when you look at how much the other teams around us have spent, it’s a hell of a lot of money.

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“I look around our dressing room though and there are a lot of players there who I wouldn’t swap for theirs. We have more than enough ability.

“We have no-one who is going to have to settle into the side, we have all played together before.

“I still believe this could be a really big season for us. The aim has to be to get into the top four and it’s going to be difficult. There are some top sides.

“Liverpool have strengthened, and so have Man City, but I would still put ourselves right up there with a chance.”

While Crouch is adamant that the club’s primary goal is to qualify for the Champions League again, he insists that Spurs are keen to progress past Hearts in the Europa League and have another run on the continent.

“It’s essential that we get back into the Champions League, we’ve proved that we can play in it against the top clubs in Europe,” he said.

“The players loved it, so did the fans. That’s where we want to be and that’s where we want to be next season.

“The Europa League isn’t ideal but it’s still a top European competition and we still want to do well in it.

“We have a big enough squad to cope with that, with the rigours of competing in Europe. We have enough top-quality players to rotate and maintain a good league position.

“The good part of the draw [against Hearts] is that we don’t have to travel far. Other than that it’s going to be a hard game.

“They are going to be so up for it. It’s going to be a British game and we’re all looking forward to it. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever played against a Scottish team!”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs