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What is the North London Derby? When it's on and how to watch

By Harry Thompson

The North London Derby is upon us and it is hard to remember a time when it has mattered more or when more has been at stake.

In a season when the Premier League table has had so many crunching fights from its tip to its toe, you could be forgiven for forgetting the humble battle for the fourth Champions League spot.

But, in London and beyond, fans will be scrambling to find a glimpse of a TV screen tonight to watch the action as the biggest North London Derby in decades plays out in real-time at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

In an almost theatrical manner, following the rescheduling of the fixture's original date due to Covid controversy, it seems as if the Premier League has plotted to rearrange the derby on the most dramatic day possible to set up a gripping finale worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster.

This year, both teams are at various stages of their recovery from falls from lofty heights, both too at different points along the road from coming back after notoriously difficult new stadium builds - a tricky journey where the financial incentive of the Champions League could be the difference between swimming or drowning.

What is the North London Derby?

The North London Derby has a long and rich history (Mirrorpix)

The North London Derby is any fixture played between rival clubs Tottenham and Arsenal, taking place at least twice a year.

Each year the fixture is played two times in the Premier League, with games held at both of Tottenham and Arsenal’s home grounds, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the Emirates Stadium respectively.

Some seasons, as an added treat, the two might meet in either the FA or League cups.

They last met in the League Cup in 2018, but haven't shared a pitch in the FA Cup since 2014.

The fixture’s huge hype dates back to 1887, but their first league clash in the top flight of English football didn't come until 1909.

However, the derby didn’t truly become the North London Derby, or NLD, until 1913 when Arsenal upped sticks from their traditional home in Plumstead to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury.

Tottenham regarded Highbury as their territory and so began the bad blood.

The two clubs' stadiums are just four miles apart with each and every edition of the NLD surrounded by huge build-up and anticipation.

Internationally it is regarded as one of the most famous and fiercely contested derbies in football.

Tottenham vs Arsenal head to head record

Dani Ceballos of Arsenal battles for possession with Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur in 2020 (Getty Images)

Ahead of the May 12 North London Derby, dubbed the biggest in decades, Tottenham and Arsenal have played each other 204 times, with Arsenal having had the better of the results.

The Gunners have won the tie 84 times, while Tottenham have been victorious 66 times, meaning Arsenal have bested Tottenham 18 times more throughout the two clubs’ intertwined histories.

They have drawn a further 54 times. Arsenal’s best result came in their 6-0 win in 1935, while Tottenham’s came in their 5-0 thrashing of the Gunners in 1983.

Overall, Tottenham striker Harry Kane is the most prolific goalscorer in the fixture, having put the ball in the back of the net 11 times.

How can I watch the North London Derby?

Tottenham Hotspur's Toby Alderweireld (hidden) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with team-mates during the Premier League match at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2020 (PA)

The North London Derby will take place on May 12, 2022, at 19:45. It will be televised live on Sky Sports.

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Dive Deeper:
Sol Campbell refuses to say who he's supporting in North London Derby but predicts result
Sol Campbell played for both Tottenham and Arsenal during his illustrious playing career, leaving Spurs to join their bitter rivals…
Tottenham send Arsenal thinly-veiled Twitter dig ahead of north London derby
Tottenham Hotspur have added fuel to the fire with a Twitter post ahead of tonight's north London derby against Arsenal
Gary Lineker and Paul Merson disagree on Tottenham vs Arsenal prediction for north London derby
Gary Lineker and Paul Merson have both given their predictions for Arsenal's clash against Tottenham Hotspur tonight
Tottenham vs Arsenal: North London Derby provides epic showdown for Champions League football
An Arsenal win secures Champions League football, but a Spurs victory blows the race back wide open - our experts…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Tottenham vs Arsenal live stream: How can I watch north London derby live on TV in UK today?
A north London derby clearly needs little in the way of added spice but Arsenal’s trip to Tottenham later this…
The biggest north London derby in a decade will decide Arsenal and Tottenham’s future
Arsenal and Tottenham meet tonight in a golden opportunity to settle the top-four race and strike a blow to their…
Get all your news in one place