UEFA hand Spurs a potential advantage ahead of the North London Derby

Written by Dan Hogarty

March 5, 2021

As another week as an Arsenal fan slowly drifts by with no mid-week fixture to fear or excite, I was beginning to experience what I imagine other Premier League fans joyfully have the majority of the time: a stress-free week.

At work, I have smiled as I remember that we have not only rested key players for a busy fortnight of football but the B team which started at the King Power Stadium actually did more than a good job and, in fact, did a job on the opposition!

Saliba’s wacky video has been calmly brushed under the carpet, Arteta’s constant opposing “Arsenal Fans” have been silenced for a further week and a host of dropped points from Leicester, Villa and Man United have really got a spring in my step. In fact, the form of some teams around us makes the upcoming North London Derby a huge fixure. More so than usual.

This morning, The Independent reported that Uefa had decided to switch the Arsenal and Tottenham Europa League ties taking place on 11th March. Previously, Tottenham were set to travel 1000 miles down to Croatia 3 days before the North London Derby.

There were no complaints by either side at this point due to Arsenal returning to Greece on the same Thursday.

Yet, Uefa’s regulations state “two clubs from the same city cannot play at home on the same day”. This would have been an issue for the second leg. Frustratingly without explanation, as ever with football governing bodies, they have decided Tottenham can chill at home all week to prepare for the derby while Arsenal make the trek.

Why can’t two clubs from the same city play at home on the same day? I assume COVID but as I say, no more information was offered.

How did they choose between the two clubs? Laughably, we had the priority due to our FA Cup win, meaning our fixture was unchanged, leaving Tottenham’s to have to be moved to home. What a shame for them.

You could argue until the cows came home that priority should mean that Arsenal were given the choice, but then again you could argue Craig Pawson is blind.

Effectively, we have an advantage now in our Europa league tie, as if the tie were to go to penalties, the shootout would go down at the Emirates. But, we are interested to know, is that more of an advantage than having a better preparation than Spurs would have had ahead of our NLD. Which choice would you have preferred Gooners?

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons



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