football

Arsenal request for north London derby clash against Tottenham to be postponed


An official decision is expected on Saturday (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal have made a request to the Premier League for Sunday’s north London derby clash against Tottenham to be postponed.

The Gunners’ options for senior players are limited due to injuries, suspensions, coronavirus and having some members of the squad away on Africa Cup of Nations duty.

A decision from the Premier League on whether the game scheduled to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will go ahead is expected to be made on Saturday.

Saka was replaced late on in Arsenal’s draw with Liverpool (Picture: Getty Images)

‘We can confirm we have made an application to the Premier League for the postponement of Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur,’ said Arsenal in a club statement.

‘We have reluctantly taken this step but we have many players currently unavailable across our squad as a result of Covid, injuries and players away with their countries at AFCON.

‘We will provide more information as soon as it’s available.’

‘The Premier League Board will meet tomorrow to review the application and inform both clubs and their fans of its decision,’ read a statement from the league.

Granit Xhaka’s red card in the midweek Carabao Cup semi-final draw with Liverpool means he is unavailable for the north London derby, while Cedric went off injured and Bukayo Saka picked up a knock in the same match.

Martin Odegaard is known to have tested positive for Covid, while the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu have been missing through injury.

Meanwhile, Thomas Partey, Nicolas Pepe, Mohamed Elneny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are on Africa Cup of Nations duty.

The Premier League’s Covid-19 guidelines state that teams must be able to field 13 outfield players for a game to go ahead.

Speaking on Friday, Mikel Arteta said: ‘We had concerns already before the match against Liverpool, and after the game we had some more issues.

‘We haven’t been able to assess the squad yet because we couldn’t fly last night, so we just arrived to the training ground and all the boys are being looked after. So we don’t know.’


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