Tottenham Hotspur are set to open their long-awaited new stadium with a minor London derby against Crystal Palace.
The Daily Mail report that the club are finally set to pull up the curtain on the new ground against the Eagles, with a formal update from the club expected this week.
There are obviously two ways to slice this, but Spurs will be sorely lacking a marquee opponent in the new stadium before the end of the season.
Previously floated opening games include Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men now look set to be facing an underwhelming run to the end of the season.
After facing Roy Hodgson’s men, Spurs will travel to Anfield for a clash with title rivals Liverpool, before home games against Brighton, Huddersfield and Everton, as well as a derby clash with West Ham.
That leaves the Irons encounter as the closest Spurs will come to a major, ‘category A’ home match before the end of the season, and that is sure to disappoint those within the Spurs hierarchy who wanted a statement win to kick off a new era.
The other side of the coin comes in the form of a potentially pivotal run of wins.
Spurs beat Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park and also recorded away wins over Brighton, Huddersfield and West Ham, while they memorably thumped Everton 6-2 at Goodison Park.
With the club still currently in the title race, a run of five successive home wins would be manna from heaven at a time when every point matters.
Of course, Spurs will also have to travel to Anfield and face Manchester City, but the club currently has one of the best away records in Europe.
Win the home games and pick up a minimum of two points against the title rivals, and Pochettino’s side could well end up champions.
This is all hypothetical, but any title-winner has to be picking up the majority of their points at home; a soft run of fixtures after facing Palace offers Spurs the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Check out the video below for Emma Conybeare’s rundown of which clubs need what in the January transfer window…