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Friday May 20, 2022

Premier League agree to postpone north London derby

By AFP
January 16, 2022
Premier League agree to postpone north London derby

LONDON: Arsenal’s clash with north London rivals Tottenham on Sunday (today) has been postponed after the Premier League accepted the depleted Gunners’ request to cancel the fixture.

Mikel Arteta’s side made the request on Friday after losing a host of players to Covid-19, injury, suspension and the African Cup of Nations.

Martin Odegaard missed Thursday’s League Cup semi-final first-leg draw at Liverpool due to Covid while Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu had been ruled out through injury.

Cedric Soares was forced off early at Anfield, with Bukayo Saka also taking a knock as Granit Xhaka’s first-half red card further depleted Arteta’s ranks.

As if that wasn’t enough, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Tottenham were said to be surprised at Arsenal’s request because they believed the clubs had the same number of coronavirus cases.

But on Saturday the Premier League confirmed that the season’s second meeting of the bitter rivals would be rearranged.

“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,” a Premier League statement said.

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.

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