BREAKING: Tottenham vs Arsenal postponed by Premier League as Gunners granted request

The North London Derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal on Sunday has been postponed.

The Premier League decided to call the grudge match off following Arsenal’s controversial request, stating to not have enough squad members available to field a team.

Mikel Arteta ‘s side had faced Liverpool on Thursday evening, but the Gunners came out of the Carabao Cup semi-final worse for wear and applied for a postponement less than 24 hours later.

The decision has outraged Tottenham, although precedent for such a decision has been set since December.

And earlier this week, Leicester City’s game at Everton was postponed for a second time, with the Premier League stating they accepted the Foxes’ application “due to COVID-19 cases, injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations.”

Join the debate! Should the Premier League have forced the match to go ahead? Let us your thoughts below.

Sunday’s North London Derby has been postponed after the Premier League accepted Arsenal’s application

Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard missed Thursday’s goalless first-leg draw at Liverpool due to a coronavirus test, while Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu were ruled out through injury.

Defender Cedric Soares was forced off early, with your star Bukayo Saka also taking a knock as Granit Xhaka ‘s first-half red card compounded their absence woes.

Meanwhile, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all away on international duty at AFCON.

Earlier on Friday, Arteta had claimed that the Gunners’ intention was always to play but admitted that he was unsure whether the game, which could be crucial in the race to finish 4th and qualify for the Champions League, would go ahead.

“I don’t know, it’s difficult to say that with total honesty without assessing our players,” the Spaniard explained.

“What is today very unlikely, tomorrow is likely to happen. It’s gone the other way for us when we were ready to play a match and it was cancelled twice because the other team had issues so it can go both ways. But our intention is always to play.”

On the other hand, Spurs boss Antonio Conte revealed that his side had a host of injury issues of their own, saying: “For us, much more than other teams it’s very, very important to recover all the important players.

Xhaka was sent off in Arsenal’s 0-0 draw at Liverpool

“Yeah, it’s life for us to recover these players. As you know very well, we have many, many injuries. And then there is always the Covid situation everyday, that you have to check.

“Sometimes you find a surprise. But we are preparing the game against Arsenal.”

Ex- Manchester United captain Gary Neville has hit out at Arsenal and a number of other clubs who have requested postponements without Covid-19 outbreaks.

“I honestly believe that all teams, not just in the Premier League but the EFL now must be made to play their fixtures,” Neville affirmed on Sky Sports.

Arsenal requested the match to be postponed on Friday
(Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images))

“[Folarin] Balogun’s gone on loan, [Ainsley] Maitland-Niles has gone on loan, Xhaka’s got a red card – that’s not the fault of anybody else.

“We can’t be calling fixtures off. If it was purely down to Covid and extraordinary circumstances where there were 10 or 15 players out [it would be acceptable].

“But, we’re now talking about teams in the last few weeks where there’s no doubt they’ve been calling games off whether they think they’ve got the best squad or best team to win a game.”

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