Sunday, January 16, 2022

Arsenal are asking the Premier League to postpone the derby against Tottenham

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Arsenal have made a formal request to the Premier League asking them to postpone Sunday’s north London derby game against Tottenham.

Mikel Arteta’s side are suffering from multiple absences due to a Covid outbreak, injuries and players playing international duty in the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Premier League confirmed the application had been made in a statement released Friday night and said it would make a final decision on Saturday.

“The Premier League have received a request from Arsenal FC to reschedule their away game against Tottenham Hotspur, which is due to be played at 4.30pm on Sunday 16 January,” it said.

“The Premier League board will meet tomorrow to consider the application and update both clubs and their supporters of its decision.”

The Gunners brought a thin squad to Anfield for their Carabao Cup semi-final on Thursday, with Martin Odegaard testing positive for Covid-19 earlier in the week, while Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu were both out through injury.

To compound these problems, Cedric Soares suffered a hip injury in the first minute before Bukayo Saka was hit. Granit Xhaka is also not available after being sent off in the first half.

Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all on international duty, meaning Arsenal may have fewer than 13 outfield players with the necessary first-team experience to play a game that could prove crucial in the race for the top four.

A statement released by Arsenal said: “We have taken this step reluctantly but we have many players who are currently unavailable in our squad due to Covid, injuries and players traveling with their country at AFCON.”

After the Liverpool game, Arteta said: “I don’t know, it’s difficult to be honest without judging our players.

“What is very unlikely today is likely to happen tomorrow. For us it’s the other way around when we were ready to play a game and it got canceled twice because the other team was struggling so it can go either way. But our intention is always to play.”

Burnley’s game against Leicester on Saturday has already been postponed as Sean Dyche’s side lack the players to complete the game.

The Women’s Super League match between Chelsea and Everton has also been postponed.

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