Arsenal ask Premier League to postpone derby clash against Tottenham

Gunners are missing players through Covid, injury and Africa Cup of Nations

Arsenal have appealed to the Premier League to postpone Sunday's match against Tottenham. PA

Arsenal have asked for Sunday’s derby at Tottenham to be postponed.

The Gunners have a host of players missing due to coronavirus, injury, suspension and the Africa Cup of Nations ahead of the Premier League clash.

A club statement on Friday 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.”

The Premier League is expected to decide on Saturday whether the game can go ahead.

Martin Odegaard missed Arsenal’s goalless League Cup semi-final first-leg draw at Liverpool on Thursday due to Covid while Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu were injured.

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Granit Xhaka is suspended after his red card at Anfield while Cedric Soares suffered an injury in midweek, Bukayo Saka is dealing with a knock and Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Arteta, who has seen fixtures against Wolves and Liverpool postponed in the past month at the request of the opposition, earlier insisted he will prepare for the game to take place.

“I don’t know, it’s difficult to say that with total honesty without assessing our players,” he said when asked if he would like the game to be off.

“What is today very unlikely, tomorrow is likely to happen. It’s gone the other way for us when we were ready to play a match and it was cancelled twice because the other team had issues so it can go both ways. But our intention is always to play.”

Burnley’s match against Leicester on Saturday has already been postponed, with the Clarets having an insufficient number of players to fulfil the fixture.

Updated: January 15th 2022, 6:07 AM