Arteta discusses the team spirit at Arsenal after Liverpool draw
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Arsenal’s trip to north London rivals Tottenham has been postponed following a request from the Gunners. Tottenham were set to host Arsenal on Sunday afternoon. But the Premier League have announced the match will not go ahead as planned.
A statement from the Premier League reads: “Following a request from Arsenal, the Premier League Board met today and regrettably agreed to postpone the club’s away fixture against Tottenham Hotspur, due to be played at 16:30 GMT 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.”
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Arsenal submitted a request to the Premier League on Friday to have the match called off.
The request led to a furious reaction from Spurs supporters and pundits.
Reports claimed Tottenham were left fuming with Arsenal, especially after manager Mikel Arteta had said earlier in the day he wanted the game to take place.
The Gunners only have one confirmed positive case of COVID-19, with Martin Odegaard still unavailable.
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However, Premier League rules stipulate teams must have 13 outfielders plus a goalkeeper available for a match to go ahead.
Arsenal had just 12 outfielders available and had a number of injury doubts following the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg draw at Liverpool on Thursday.
Bukayo Saka and Cedric Soares picked up injuries, with Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney also struggling with knocks.
Granit Xhaka was sent off in that match so was set to miss the trip to Spurs due to suspension.
Arsenal are also without four first-team players who are at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe are all away at the tournament.
The Athletic reported on Saturday that Arsenal’s available players were set to train at the Emirates ahead of Sunday’s match.
But now it has been confirmed the game will not take place.
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