Arsenal ask Premier League to postpone north London derby over Covid and injury crisis

·1-min read
 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal have made a formal request to the Premier League for Sunday’s north London derby to be postponed as they struggle with player availability.

The Gunners have seen their squad severely depleted by Covid and injuries, while four players are away at the Africa Cup of Nations and Granit Xhaka is suspended after being sent off in Thursday’s Carabao Cup draw with Liverpool.

Arsenal had already been struggling for numbers going into that game and their problems were exacerbated by Xhaka’s dismissal, as well as injuries which forced Bukayo Saka and Cedric Soares off before the end.

Earlier on Friday, Arteta had said he was planning as if the game would go ahead, but that the club’s staff were waiting to assess the extent of those injuries.

Premier League rules stipulate that clubs must have 13 senior outfield players and a goalkeeper available to fulfil fixtures.

A club statement said: “We have reluctantly taken this step but we have many players currently unavailable across our squad as a result of Covid, injuries and players away with their countries at AFCON.

“We will provide more information as soon as it’s available.”

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