Football

Depleted Arsenal request North London derby against Spurs be postponed

| PHOTO: Arsenal FC |

Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur Premier League

Arsenal has made an official application asking the Premier League to postpone Sunday’s north London derby vs Tottenham hotspur due to their long list of absentees in the senior squad.

The Gunners are scheduled to make the short away trip to do battle with their fierce rivals at Tottenham Hotspur three days after holding Liverpool to a goalless draw in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final in Anfield.

Midfielder Granit Xhaka will be out after he was suspended after he was sent off at Anfield on Thursday, while Cedric Soares and Bukayo Saka joined the injury list.

Arsenal has four players away on international duty at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, while another four missed the game on Merseyside due to injury and Martin Odegaard tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the game.

Head coach Mikel Arteta suggested in a press conference on Friday that Arsenal will struggle to fulfil the fixture against Antonio Conte’s side on Sunday.

Arsenal confirmed later in the day they have requested for the match to be rearranged due to the long list of absentees.

A club statement seen by SportsLeo read: “We can confirm we have made an application to the Premier League for the postponement of Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.

“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.

Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur Premier League

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

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

In order for the encounter to not go ahead, Arsenal will need to prove they do not have 13 eligible outfield players and a goalkeeper among their first-team squad or “appropriately experienced Under-21 players”,

Arteta told the media that they had concerns already before the match against Liverpool, and after the game, they 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 in the training ground and all the boys are being looked after. So we don’t know.”

Arsenal is currently seeing a better Premier League season compared to the recent ones and is currently sitting fourth in the Premier League log behind Manchester City, Chelsea, and Liverpool in that order.

 

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