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Arsenal in talks about postponing Tottenham game

By on January 14, 2022

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Arsenal are in talks with the Premier League about the possibility of postponing Sunday’s trip to Tottenham with up to 12 players expected to be unavailable.

Mikel Arteta has been battling a selection crisis this month with a number of players absent due to a range of factors. Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Mo Elneny are away at the AFCON and they won’t be back until the end of the month at the earliest.

Arsenal’s main concern is in midfield as Granit Xhaka will miss the next two games due to suspension following his sending off against Liverpool in the first leg of our Carabao Cup semi-final at Anfield on Thursday night.

Martin Odegaard has also been ruled out of the Tottenham game on Sunday after testing positive for covid while Emile Smith Rowe is a major doubt after missing the last two matches with a niggling groin injury.

Arsenal are also facing a crisis at right-back as Takehiro Tomiyasu is expected to remain on the sidelines with a calf issue that’s kept him out of the last two matches while Cedric Soares was forced off with a hip complaint during the first half against Liverpool.

Calum Chambers replaced Soares at Anfield but he also picked up a knock during the game and will need to be assessed at London Colney this afternoon to see whether he’ll be available against Tottenham.

Bukayo Saka was forced off late on against the Merseusiders after picking up a knock so he’s also a doubt for the trip to Spurs while Sead Kolasinac is out with a thigh problem.

Here is a full list of Arsenal’s current doubts/confirmed absentees:

Granit Xhaka Suspended
Takehiro Tomiyasu Calf
Emile Smith Rowe Groin
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang AFCON
Thomas Partey AFCON
Mohamed Elneny AFCON
Nicolas Pepe AFCON
Martin Odegaard Covid
Sead Kolasinac Thigh Injury
Cedric Soares Hip
Bukayo Saka Knock
Calum Chambers Knock

 

It means a total of 12 players could be unavailable for the North London Derby, and more could be added to the list of absentees if Arsenal get any more covid cases following today’s tests.

The situation means Arsenal currently have just 12 outfield players available for selection, which is below the required number of 13 as per Premier League rules. The Guardian claims that Arsenal are now in talks with the Premier League about the possibility of postponing Sunday’s game.

No formal appeal to call the game off has been put forward by Arsenal yet, but if Saka, Chambers, Kolasinac and Soares are all ruled out following their tests today or Arsenal get any more covid cases, then it’s difficult to see how Sunday’s game will go ahead.

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