Arsenal ask the Premier League to POSTPONE their north London derby clash with Tottenham on Sunday due to coronavirus cases and injuries… with rivals LIVID at late request
- Arsenal have made a request to postpone Sunday’s north London derby at Spurs
- Tottenham are furious with Arsenal’s very late request, Sportsmail has learned
- The request came less than 48 hours before the derby was due to take place
- Arsenal took on Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi-final on Thursday evening
- A final decision on whether the game will go ahead is expected on Saturday
Arsenal on Friday night submitted a request to postpone Sunday’s crunch north London derby – sparking fury at Tottenham in the process.
Sportsmail exclusively broke the news on Friday that the Gunners had filed an application to have Sunday’s game against Spurs called off due to the unavailability of a large number of players due to Covid, injuries, suspension and international duty.
The Premier League board will convene on Saturday morning to decide whether the match will go ahead as planned.
Arsenal have made a request to postpone Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham
Tottenham are said to be furious at Arsenal’s late request – less than 48 hours before the game
Rules state that clubs are required to play provided they have 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper who are either part of the senior squad or ‘appropriately experienced Under-21s’.
What will be key at this morning’s meeting is whether top-flight officials take into account the unavailability of Arsenal’s Africa Cup of Nations contingent: Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe.
It’s important to note that Leicester had a request to postpone their game against Everton earlier this month citing players on AFCON duty as one of the reasons.
The news of Arsenal’s request triggered anger at Tottenham, who are concerned their arch-rivals are using the rules to have the game called off because their best players are unavailable.
There is a huge surprise at Tottenham that Arsenal have taken this step, particularly given head coach Mikel Arteta had said earlier in the day that he wanted the game to go ahead.
Mikel Arteta’s (second right) Gunners played Liverpool away in the cup on Thursday night
There is a sense at Spurs that international call-ups, injuries and suspensions are part and part of football.
Arsenal currently have one known Covid case – Martin Odegaard – and Granit Xhaka is suspended following his red card against Liverpool on Thursday.
However, Calum Chambers, Cédric Soares, Kieran Tierney, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka are all injury doubts for the game – an issue that has raised obvious suspicion at Tottenham.
Also, it has not gone unnoticed at Spurs that Arsenal have also let Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Folarin Balogan leave on loan in recent days, while Arsenal’s U23’s, who could conceivably be included in Sunday’s match-day squad, were playing on Friday night.