3.9k Share this
The potentially crucial north London derby has been pencilled in for the penultimate week of the season in grudge clash broadcasters are hopeful of billing as a do-or-die Champions Leaguer decider.
Sportsmail has learned that Tottenham and Arsenal have been advised by the Premier League that they are planning for the game to be rescheduled for the week beginning May 9, though a final date is still to be officially confirmed.
Nevertheless, well-placed sources have confirmed that top-flight officials have relayed to both clubs that the aim is to play the game ahead of the penultimate weekend of the season.
Tottenham and Arsenal’s rearranged North London Derby is set to take place on the second last week of the Premier League season
Tensions flared between Antonio Conte (L) and Gunners boss Mikel Arteta (R) after Arsenal postponed the original fixture due to a Covid outbreak – despite having only one case
There are no European club fixtures scheduled for that week, meaning the match will have the total spotlight which should serve to increase viewing figures.
The game is likely to be shown live on Sky Sports, who were due to show the clash when it was originally scheduled on January 16.
It had been indicated to Sportsmail that broadcasters were exerting their considerable control of the scheduling of fixtures with a view to rescheduling the game as late as possible in hope the north London rivals would still be involved in the race to finish in the top-four.
The crucial game could be a top four decider with both teams still very much in the mix
Those assertions were played down, with industry insiders claiming rescheduling it so late in the season risks not having anything riding on the fixture at all apart from local pride.
As it stands, there appears to be every chance the game will be pivotal towards deciding who qualifies for next season’s Champions League.
Arsenal are currently in fourth place, three points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham – but crucially have a game in hand.
The match will also have an extra edge amid developing tensions between the clubs after Arsenal were controversially given the go-ahead to postpone the original date in January due to a Covid outbreak within their camp.
Tottenham were angered by Arsenal postponing the first game – which only adds another layer of spice to the contest
The decision infuriated Tottenham, who believed that the Gunners had just one proven Covid case – Martin Odegaard.
That friction intensified earlier this month after Spurs boss Antonio Conte was left frustrated by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta’s complaint that his side were dealt a rough hand by the Premier League in terms of fixture scheduling.
‘I only want to remember [remind] Arteta [about] the game that we postponed – Tottenham v Arsenal, okay? Yes, If we speak about fair or unfair, okay, and, I stop,’ said Conte.
‘If someone want to speak about fair or unfair. We postponed a game Tottenham v Arsenal, if you remember. I don’t forget this and I think it is not right to speak about fair or unfair.’
Source: DailyMail Sports