Arsenal host local rivals Tottenham Hotspur for the north London derby on Sunday, which follows Manchester United’s trip to Liverpool.
Most fans would consider this to be a juicy day of Premier League football, but in reality these clashes will fall to the same fate of the match at Old Trafford on Monday.
That is, there is little riding on them other than the bragging rights of a derby win or defeating an old rival. We are only a couple of games into the new season and the Premier League has yet to take any real shape.
It just is too early in the day for the results of these games to have any impact on the season as a whole and that seems a real shame. The fact that the transfer window is still open also makes a big difference, as the outcomes of the matches will indicate little of the teams’ possible fortunes for the rest of the season if they make significant signings.
GMS realise that the Premier League draw up the fixtures randomly and the matches have to be held when the computer says they should be, but would there be any harm in the bigger games being moved to more attractive time slots?
Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea earlier this week was a dull affair and neither manager had any great need to send their teams out to take any risks in pursuit of a victory. It made for an uninspiring spectacle.
With television money and advertising so crucial to the Premier League’s ongoing success, the organisers should have some provision for rearranging the more glamorous matches to more attractive dates.
The north London derby is possibly the biggest match for each club’s fans and there is a narrative of closely contested superiority between the two over the last few seasons, so it is a shame the game will have little bearing on the season ahead.