Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are battling it out for a place in the UEFA Champions League next season.
We’ve reached the final two weeks of the Premier League season, and Arsenal is creeping closer to a top-four finish for the first time in six years, as Mikel Arteta’s side tries to secure a place in the UEFA Champions League next season.
However, the Gunners have failed to earn a place in Europe’s elite competition, with Tottenham Hotspur trailing them by four points.
To add to the intrigue, the two north London clubs will meet (metonymy for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium) on Thursday night in one of the most eagerly awaited north London derbies in recent memory.
While unlikely, if the two teams finish even on points, goal differential, and head-to-head record, they would meet in a playoff on neutral ground.
Tottenham Hotspur may be four points behind Arsenal in the race for the top four with three games remaining, but they will be pleased with their performance and result against Liverpool on Saturday.
The Premier League title contenders struggled to beat Antonio Conte’s team at Anfield, but the Spurs’ performance was just as deserving of a point.
They now have a vital game against Arsenal in the North London derby on Thursday, and Gary Neville is supporting Tottenham to earn all three points after their weekend performance.
On Saturday, Spurs held their own against the Reds in the first half before seizing the lead through Son Heung-min on 54 minutes. A deflected Luis Diaz effort ensured a share of the spoils, but the hosts were unable to break down Conte’s defense.
A point was definitely better than nothing for the visitors, but it allowed Arsenal to open up a four-point lead the next day when they beat Leeds United 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium, despite the fact that they were down to ten men.
Spurs, on the other hand, will have every chance of scooping up all three points in front of their home fans if they put in a performance similar to the one they put on at Anfield over the weekend. In attack, Harry Kane and Son are a lethal combination, and Neville praised them against Liverpool.
“If two or more teams finish equal in the table when fighting for the title or European qualifying, or when relegation is at issue, their records in head-to-head encounters will now be used to separate them,” the Premier League announced in a statement in 2020.
“Teams that finished with the same point total, goal differential, and number of goals scored in prior seasons were placed against each other in a playoff.”
However, an extra match is becoming less plausible.” Only if the clubs are still tied in the standings after this will a playoff be held at a neutral venue, with the Premier League Board deciding on the format, schedule, and location.”
On Thursday the 12th of March, the two sides will meet in one of the most eagerly awaited North London derbies in recent memory, and if Spurs wins the match, they will be a point adrift of the Gunners and if they lose to either Newcastle or Everton – which are seemingly tough ties, they may not qualify for UCL next season.