North London derby postponed as Arsenal unable to field team against Tottenham

Arsenal’s request to postpone Sunday’s north London derby in Tottenham has been accepted.

The Gunners, who played a goalless draw with Liverpool on Thursday, made an application to the Premier League on Friday after several players were unavailable.

A mix of coronavirus, injuries, suspensions and players being turned away at the African Cup of Nations has prompted Arsenal to “reluctantly” move to the postponement.

A Premier League statement said: “Following the request of Arsenal FC, the Premier League Board met today and regretfully agreed to postpone the club’s match against Tottenham Hotspur, which will take place on Sunday 16 January. Will be played at 4:30.

“With Arsenal falling short of the number of players available for the match (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper), the board accepted the club’s application.

“The decision is the result of a combination of COVID-19, existing and recent injuries and players on international duty in the Africa Cup of Nations. If the Covid-19 infection is a factor in their request, all clubs are able to apply for a postponement. ,

A statement from Arsenal said: “We are disappointed to announce that Sunday’s north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur has been postponed.

“We know how much this match means to our fans around the world, but the Premier League has decided to postpone the match, as many players in our squad are currently suffering from Covid-19, existing and recent injuries. are unavailable as a result. In addition to players with their countries in AFCON. ,

Martin Odegaard was absent for the first leg of the Gunners Carabao Cup semi-final with Liverpool due to Covid-19, while Emil Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu were missing due to injuries.

Granit Xaka received a red card during a 0–0 draw, which saw him out of Sunday’s match, and Cedric Soares was previously without Thomas Partey, Mohamed Alleny, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang due to international commitments. Same injury happened with Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta said on Friday that Arsenal “always intend to play” but Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Folarin Balogun have left on loan to join Roma and Middlesbrough respectively this month, while the club’s under-23s 1-1 Was able to play a draw. Same day with West Ham in Premier League 2.

Tottenham tweeted that the decision to postpone was regrettable, tweeting: “Following the request of Arsenal FC, the Premier League Board met today and regretfully agreed to postpone the North London derby, which will be held on Sunday.” It will be played on January 16 at 4.30 pm.

Saturday’s scheduled top-flight match between Burnley and Leicester on Friday was already postponed as the Clarets were unable to raise a team.

A second FA Women’s Super League fixture has also been called off after Arsenal confirmed the opponents’ request for permission by the Football Association to rearrange their match.

A statement from the North London club on Saturday said: “We can confirm that the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match against Reading on Sunday has been postponed after the Football Association approved Reading’s request.”

A reading statement said: “We apologize for any inconvenience caused to supporters planning to attend.

“The health, safety and well-being of the players, coaching teams and club staff are of paramount importance and we would like to wish them all a speedy and full recovery.”

Everton’s scheduled WSL game at home to Chelsea this weekend was already postponed on Friday due to COVID-19 issues at the host camp.