Saturday’s north London derby kicks off an epic 43 days for Tottenham Hotspur, where Spurs will play 13 games in the run-up to the World Cup.
Tottenham Hotspur is about to hit a crucial stretch in a season unlike any other, where professional leagues are being put on hold for an international tournament. Over the 43 days from October 1 through November 12, Spurs will play 13 games, which can make or break their season. And while Saturday’s derby is a big game for Tottenham, it is just the first of many.
Premier League at Full Throttle for Tottenham
To not impact the end of this season and thus next season’s schedule, the Premier League – and every other league on the FIFA calendar – is stuffing in the games in the coming weeks.
In a typical month, teams play three or at most four league games. In October alone, Spurs will play six league matches and then play a further two in November, for eight league games over those 43 days.
In comparison, Spurs played three league games in September and will play five in December and January combined. With the schedule adjusted for the World Cup, Spurs will have six league games in three months this season, August, October, and later in April. However, not all of those months are the same.
In August, Tottenham was only playing in the Premier League; in October, Spurs will be participating in two competitions, and in November, it will be three.
The caliber of opposition Spurs are about to face makes things tougher for Tottenham.
Over the next month, Tottenham plays two top-four teams – Arsenal (1) and Brighton (4) – and two more top-half teams – United (5) and Newcastle (10). Additionally, at 12th and 13th, respectively, Bournemouth and Everton are no pushovers. Add in Liverpool and Leeds to round out the run, and we will certainly know what Spurs are made of, even before they battle on other fronts.
Champions League and Carabao Cup coming fast at Spurs
If Tottenham were one of the teams not participating in Europe, then maybe the eight games over 43 days would not be too bad. However, the fact is, Spurs are playing in Europe and in the Champions League at that, making the schedule even tougher.
Over three of the four weeks of October, Tottenham will be playing in the Champions League. Immediately following the north London derby, Spurs will be off to Germany to play Frankfurt in the first of a home-and-home series. After traveling to Germany on Tuesday, Spurs will host Eintracht the following Wednesday in two games which could decide their fate in the group.
The only reason Spurs are not playing four European games in October is that they are playing a midweek game at Old Trafford against United on the Wednesday following the Eintracht Frankfurt tie. With Sporting on the following Wednesday, Tottenham will be busy between Premier League matches.
In November, Spurs play their final group stage game at Marseille one month from Saturday’s north London derby. In round three of the Carabao Cup, they face Premier League side, Nottingham Forest. That cup game comes between Liverpool and Leeds United visiting Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to round out the run.
So while the north London derby is important, it is just the first of a baker’s dozen of important games for Tottenham Hotspur over the next 43 days.