Arsenal request to postpone North London derby against Tottenham

Arsenal have asked to postpone Sunday’s North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.

Mikel Arteta’s men last played in the Carabao Cup on Thursday night against Liverpool, but suffered a severe absence throughout their squad.

Arsenal were ready to take the short trip to take on their neighbors Tottenham but have a handful of players missing due to Covid, injury, suspension and the Africa Cup of Nations.

Martin Odegaard missed Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Liverpool due to Covid, while the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu were left out due to injury.

Cedric Soares was forced to leave early at Anfield with Bukayo Saka also being battered as Granit Xhaka’s red card in the first half exhausted coach Mikel Arteta. And with Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all away at the Africa Cup of Nations, the Spurs game can now be rescheduled.

“We can confirm that we have submitted a request to the Premier League to postpone Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur,” a statement from Arsenal read.

“We have taken this step reluctantly but we have several players who are not currently in our squad due to injuries and players abroad at Afcon.”

Telegraph Sport understand plans to submit a request to the Premier League to cancel the match, although Arteta insisted earlier that he would prepare for the match after delaying matches against Wolverhampton and Liverpool last month at the request of the opposition.

“I don’t know, it’s hard to say in complete honesty without evaluating our players,” he said when asked if he would like to finish the match.

“What is very unlikely today, is likely to happen tomorrow. It went the other way for us when we were ready to play a match and it was called off 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 not enough players at Burnley to get the match done.

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