The rumors were true. Tottenham Hotspur’s home North London Derby against Arsenal has been rescheduled for Thursday, May 12, putting the match within ten days of the end of the Premier League season, and potentially making it one of the most hotly anticipated as well as consequential NLDs in recent memory.
Tottenham formally announced the fixture on social media today.
We have a date for the North London Derby...— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 4, 2022
Three of our May fixtures have been selected for live television broadcast ⤵️
A midweek NLD is gross no matter how you slice it. Midweek matches are bad for fans no matter what happens, but its particularly onerous to fans who aren’t able to attend the match locally. On a personal level I don’t relish the thought of trying to cover what could be one of Tottenham’s most important games of the season from my office in the middle of a work day.
The placement of the match isn’t especially great either — as noted earlier, this puts the match just after Spurs’ trip to Liverpool on Saturday, May 7; the Premier League also moved that match from a 3 pm UK start (10 am ET) to a 7:30 pm UK start (2:45 pm ET) for TV purposes. It also means a short turnaround between the NLD and the home game vs. Burnley on Sunday, May 15, which now kicks off at noon UK (7 am ET).
The match has got to be played sometime, so I suppose it doesn’t do too much to feel hard done by the rescheduled date. It could’ve been MORE favorable to Tottenham’s schedule, but whatever. It does, however, set up a potentially explosive rivalry match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium — a true six pointer that could decide which of Arsenal or Tottenham finish in a Champions League position by the end of the season.
Arsenal’s 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace has already tightened up the race for top four; Spurs are now level with Arsenal (though the Gunners have a match in hand) and critically, ahead by goal differential. Arsenal also faces a gauntlet of matches in late April including a stretch at Chelsea, home to West Ham, and at United. This is gonna go down to the wire, and the home NLD could be a decider. My butt cheeks are already clenching in anticipation.