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Tottenham vs Arsenal postponed by the Premier League – The Athletic

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Tottenham vs Arsenal postponed by the Premier League – The Athletic

By Amy Lawrence, James McNicholas and more
15 January 2022 2:53 PM GMT
281 Comments

Arsenal’s Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur has been postponed.

Mikel Arteta’s side requested the match — that was due to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday — be rescheduled due to a number of COVID-19 cases and injuries.

The Athletic reported earlier on Saturday that Arsenal were preparing to train at the Emirates ahead of the Spurs game, as they awaited a decision from the Premier League.

This is Arsenal’s second postponed fixture in less than a fortnight after their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Liverpool was delayed by a week. That postponement, however, was requested by Liverpool.

Arteta had said on Thursday, after the rescheduled Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Liverpool, that there was a possibility that the Spurs game would get called off.

He has been left with just 12 fit outfield players following further absences in the wake of that goalless draw with Liverpool.

Cedric Soares and Bukayo Saka sustained injuries during the game, and it’s believed that Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney are also carrying knocks. Granit Xhaka was shown a red card in that match, automatically ruling him out of Sunday’s derby.

The club also lost midfielder Martin Odegaard to a positive COVID-19 case before kick-off.

Premier League rules stipulate that teams must fulfil fixtures if they have 14 players — 13 outfield and a goalkeeper — available to play.

In a statement confirming the postponement, the Premier League said: “Following a request from Arsenal FC, the Premier League Board met today and regrettably agreed to postpone the club’s away fixture against Tottenham Hotspur, due to be played at 4:30pm on Sunday 16 January.

“With Arsenal having fewer than the required number of players available for the match (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper), the Board accepted the club’s application.

“The decision is a result of a combination of COVID-19, existing and recent injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations. All clubs are able to apply for a postponement if COVID-19 infections are a factor in their request.”

An Arsenal statement added: “We are disappointed to announce that Sunday’s north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur has been postponed.

“We know how much this match means to our fans around the world, but the Premier League has made the decision to postpone the match, due to many players across our squad currently being unavailable as a result of COVID-19, existing and recent injuries, in addition to players away with their countries at AFCON.”

(Photo: Getty Images)
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