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Tottenham vs Arsenal: Gunners request north London derby postponement

Bukayo Saka was one of three Arsenal players to pick up an injury against Liverpool on Thursday

Arsenal have requested the postponement of Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium due to a lack of available players.

The Gunners said they were “reluctant” to take the move because of injuries, positive Covid-19 cases and players traveling with their countries at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Premier League board will consider Arsenal’s application on Saturday.

20 Premier League games have been postponed this season due to Covid.

That was announced on Friday earlier Burnley’s home game against Leicester City on Saturday has been postponed due to Covid-19 cases and injuries at the Turf Moor side camp.

Premier League rules state that a club must play a game when they have 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper at their disposal.

Cedric Soares, Bukayo Saka and Calum Chambers all picked up injuries in Arsenal’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg draw against Liverpool on Thursday, while Granit Xhaka is suspended after being sent off at Anfield in the first half.

Mikel Arteta’s side have already been without Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe, who are on international duty in Africa, while Martin Odegaard missed the Liverpool game through illness.

At a news conference on Friday, Gunners boss Arteta said he was unsure if Sunday’s game would go ahead.

“I don’t know, it’s hard to be honest without judging our players,” said the Spaniard when asked if he wanted the game to be postponed.

“What’s very unlikely today is likely to happen tomorrow. It went the other way for us when we were ready to play a game and it was canceled twice because the other team was struggling to make it go both ways can go. But our intention is.” always to play.”

The Premier League says it is considering requests to postpone games because of Covid ‘on a case-by-case basis’.

In doing so, the Premier League board assesses a range of factors including “a club’s ability to field a team, the status, severity and potential impact of the Covid-19 outbreak at the club and the players’ ability to be safe and ready prepare yourself for the game and play it.”

On Friday night, former Arsenal defender Matthew Upson told ` Radio 5 Live: “I sympathize with everyone and understand the situation, but this is where it starts to get a little blurry as to what is and isn’t allowed.

“There’s a combination of reasons why Arsenal’s squad is so thin, where do you draw the line? It’s a really sensible question to ask. It needs real clarity. It has to be because of Covid, but all these other situations happen and she has to deal with that.”

Former Brighton and Sunderland manager Gus Poyet added: “I think there should only be Covid reasons. It’s not clear and that [clarity] we all want. what is the rule The rule should relate to Covid cases and then we should be able to say yes or no.”

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