Tottenham vs Arsenal: North London Derby at Risk of Being Postponed as Arsenal Decry Lack of Players

Tottenham vs Arsenal: North London Derby at Risk of Being Postponed as Arsenal Decry Lack of Players

  • Arsenal are devoid of squad depth ahead of the North London derby
  • The North London club has requested for the postponement of the North London derby scheduled for Sunday, January 16
  • Arsenal are fifth on the Premier League standings with 35 points from 20 games

Arsenal have made a formal request to the Premier League to have their Premier League clash against Tottenham Hotspur postponed.

Tottenham vs Arsenal
Arsenal says the club does not have sufficient players to play in the North London derby on Sunday, January 16. Photo by Mike Egerton.
Source: Getty Images

The Gunners attribute their request to a series of injuries and positive COVID-19 cases within the squad.

The Premier League board is set to consider the request on Saturday, January 15.

If the game is postponed, It will be the 21st English top flight match to be rescheduled for a later date.

On Friday, it was announced that the clash between Leicester City and Burnley would be postponed because of COVID-19 cases and injuries within the Clarets squad.

As per the Premier League rules, a club must fulfil its duties of playing in a match if they have 13 outfield players available for selection.

Arsenal’s squad woes

As far as their squad is concerned, Arsenal have some serious lack of depth at the moment.

Bukayo Saka is a certain absentee, while Cedric Soares and Callum Chambers also picked up injuries In the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Liverpool.

Granix Xhaka picked up a red card in the same semi final and is suspended for the Tottenham clash, while the likes of Mohamed Elneny, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe and Thomas Partey are on international duty.

Arteta admitted in a press conference on Friday that he was unsure whether the game on Sunday would carry on as planned.

"I don't know, it's difficult to say that with total honesty without assessing our players," said the Spaniard when asked whether he wanted the game postponed.
"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."

For now, the possibility of the game being postponed remains 50-50 since the Premier League only approves the postponement of games on a case-to-case basis.

Aubameyang out of Gabon clash because of heart issue

Elsewhere, Arsenal striker Aubameyang was conspicuously absent for Gabon in their AFCON clash against Ghana, and it was revealed the forward had 'heart lesions' following an episode with COVID.

Former Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina, now at Nice, and forward Axel Meye were also ruled out of the clash for the same reasons.