With the way the season is panning out at present, The North London Derby has the potential to be a top four clinching clash with both teams going neck and neck all the way until the end.
Manchester City and Liverpool are fighting it out for the title, and Chelsea in a strong position in finish third, Leaving Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United to battle for one Champions League slot as they headed into the highly anticipated run-in.
Arsenal are comfortably the best-placed team to finish fourth in the Premier League this season with Mikel Arteta’s side lead Tottenham by three points and United by four, still holding a game in hand over both.
However, the Gunners’ run-in is the toughest on paper.
And Manchester United run-in isn’t even better. Away trips to Arsenal and Liverpool before hosting Chelsea at Old Trafford.
With Manchester United even the smallest matches look simpler on paper than they do in real life.
Manchester United have played 29 games and seems to have ran out of steam already due to inconsistency and will need a massive miracle to be able to enter the top four by the end of May unless they pull the rabbit out of the hat which we don’t expect them theoretically.
This means Tottenham look like the genuine contenders for Arsenal right now, who are aiming to play Champions League football for the first time since the 2016-17 season, based on purely mathematics and probability as they have the most straightforward run-in on paper.
Antonio Conte’s men face a daunting trip to Liverpool and host Arsenal in a true six-pointer, but apart from that, they clash with no other teams currently in the top eight.
ARSENAL VS TOTTENHAM CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TOP FOUR RACE.
Momentum appears to be with Arsenal at this stage as the Gunners have been in impressive form, winning six and losing one of their last seven Premier League games.
Mikel Arteta’s side are in driving seat to finish fourth as they currently occupy that position and are three points ahead of Spurs, who have played one game but face a tricky remaining set of fixtures in their bid to secure a Champions League return.
while Arteta’s side have not taken any points from the top three clubs this campaign, they are skilfully avoiding banana skins tossed in their path.
Tottenham Hotspur on the other hand have shown signs of improvement since Antonio Conte took over the reins at the club midway through the first half of the season. However, their lack of consistency has been a major source of concern for the club’s fans.
Westham 3-1 victory makes it back-to-back wins for the first time since December, perhaps the pendulum is starting to swing Tottenham’s way too.
Tottenham Hotspur 🆚 Arsenal fixtures
The major factor in play is that Arsenal’s match at Spurs is still TBC in terms of date, while the Gunners recently had their fixture at Chelsea confirmed for April 20.
These are two tricky encounters for Arsenal, while the fact they also face trips to Crystal Palace, Southampton, West Ham and Newcastle outline that fourth is no guarantee despite their recent upturn in form.
Spurs always struggle to low blocks team but arguably have an easier run-in, with their trickiest away encounter at Liverpool, meaning the north London derby could prove decisive – so too overall goal difference.
THE NORTH LONDON DERBY
Arsenal’s scheduled meeting with Tottenham in the Premier League on January 16 has been postponed following an official request from Arsenal and considering the hectic packed of the Premier League fixture, it may likely be played around May.
Spurs and Arsenal are always feisty affairs, but this north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur could be on another level as it represents a massive moment in the race for Champions League.
“The only way to put pressure on Arsenal is to get three points. To win. There are nine games to go and for us every game has to be a final. They have a good advantage because they’ve been working with the same coach for many years and they’ve had many transfer markets with the same coach.
“We know there is Arsenal that is taking advantage in the table and they are showing great stability…. We want to try to fight and to have this ambition is important to ask all of the players, especially the important players because they are able to take the responsibility to show this message.”
In an era when ordinary games of football are hyped up to increase television audiences, describing a match as “huge” ceases to have much meaning.
These days, every game with any meaning is a “must-win,” every game towards the end of a campaign is a “cup final.”
“The North London derby is not just about those bragging rights anymore. With both clubs competing for Champions League places, once more there is something tangible at stake.”
It’s genuinely enormous game for both sides and may go down as “the biggest north London derby we’ve ever seen.” And, while that might sound like hyperbole, but it’s probably correct as it represents a real six-pointer.