Teams had not even finished celebrating their respective victories when the EFL announced the match-ups for the Carabao Cup semi-finals. Arsenal and Liverpool will clash in one semi-final while Tottenham and Chelsea will square off in the other.
For Tottenham and Chelsea, the likely two matches in January, mean Spurs and Blues will be getting very intimate in the new year, as Tottenham will face Chelsea three times over 20 days. We say likely because, some teams – Tottenham and Liverpool for example – are lobbying to shorten the affair to just one match. Until something is changed, we are going under the assumption that there will be two matches a home-and-home series, in the semi-finals.
Tottenham calendar has a London feel
The exact dates for the semi-finals, which are slated to start the week of 3 January, with the first fixture on the 4th, have not yet been established. However, what we do know is that Tottenham will go to Chelsea on Sunday 23 January in the Premier League.
That match will likely be Spurs’ third straight London derby, having hosted Chelsea and Arsenal, before traveling to Stamford Bridge. Spurs are likely to have five derbies in January with a trip to Watford in the league and the first-leg at Chelsea to be played.
In fact of the eight matches Spurs should play between now and that Chelsea game in late January, Spurs will only leave London once – to play at Southampton on 28 December. The only other non-derby in the list of eight for Spurs is their FA Cup match-up with Morecambe, which is fortunately at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, saving Spurs a 4+ hour journey north.
Spurs play Blues three times in five matches during a critical stretch
With three winnable matches for Tottenham – versus Palace, then at Southampton and Watford – before heading across the capital to Stamford Bridge, Tottenham should be flying by the time they face the Blues for the first-leg match.
That game on 4 January kicks off a string of five matches, where only that FA Cup against Morecambe separates Spurs from their two fiercest rivals, Chelsea and Arsenal. Tottenham plays Chelsea, Morecambe, Chelsea, Arsenal, and then Chelsea again, before the next scheduled break is set to begin on 24 January.
Those five matches are going to have a huge bearing on Spurs season and potentially how successful it will be. Arsenal and Chelsea both sit above Tottenham and finding a way to win those matches against our most bitter rivals could be the difference in a trophy or not, as well as top four or not. For fans, we should find out quickly if 2022 will be something new and different for Spurs or just more of the same.