“Tottenham vs Arsenal postponed” is not the headline fans of either team will want to see, but the North London Derby will not go ahead as planned this weekend.
The Premier League has granted Arsenal’s request to postpone Sunday’s NLD with Tottenham Hotspur due to a lack of available first-team players.
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Arsenal made the request 48 hours before the game thanks to injuries, suspension, COVID-19 and players at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Here is the full Premier League statement:
Following a request from Arsenal FC, the Premier League Board met today and regrettably agreed to postpone the club’s away fixture against Tottenham Hotspur, due to be played at 4:30pm on Sunday 16 January.
With Arsenal having fewer than the required number of players available for the match (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper), the Board accepted the club’s application. The decision is a result of a combination of COVID-19, existing and recent injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations. All clubs are able to apply for a postponement if COVID-19 infections are a factor in their request.
The League apologises for the inconvenience and disruption caused to supporters who would have attended or watched the game – we are fully aware that postponements disappoint clubs and fans. The League aims to provide as much clarity as possible, but unfortunately postponements sometimes have to be made at short notice, as safety is our priority. Where possible, the League will endeavour to keep supporters updated if games become at risk.
The Premier League’s postponement rules are designed to protect the wellbeing of players and staff, while maintaining the sporting integrity of the competition. Club requests are assessed on a case-by-case basis, based on existing rules and adapted COVID-19 postponement guidance, implemented in light of the Omicron variant. The Board examines a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact of COVID-19; and the ability of the players to safely prepare for and play the match. The detail within all applications is scrutinised by the League’s specialist staff before the Board makes its decision.
Click here to read the updated guidance on the Premier League’s match postponement process.
Everything after the jump is from our original preview post of the scheduled North London derby: Tottenham vs Arsenal.
Tottenham vs Arsenal is a huge North London Derby on Sunday (watch live, 11:30am ET on Peacock Premium) as both teams are battling to finish in the top four.
What a pivotal game this is for both teams and their hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.
Antonio Conte and Spurs are struggling for form but they have plenty of games in-hand on their top four rivals and know they must win this game against Arsenal to get some momentum going for the second half of the season. Harry Kane is usually ready to roll, and score, in the NLD and Tottenham need their talisman to carry them this weekend. With Heung-min Son out injured there will be even more pressure for Kane to produce goals. Although Spurs have improved defensively under Conte, they’re still struggling to create chances consistently and put them away. But as the famous cliche goes, form goes out of the window when derby day rolls around and Spurs will be hoping that’s the case after their limp exit in the League Cup at the semifinal stage to London rivals Chelsea over the last week. Going into this game Tottenham are just two points behind Arsenal, but crucially they have two games in-hand over their bitter rivals.
Mikel Arteta and Arsenal are reeling a little from their FA Cup exit to second-tier Nottingham Forest last weekend and the Gunners boss will want to see a positive reaction from his young side. Arsenal have been in good form in the PL in recent months and have dragged themselves into the top four conversation by beating teams in the bottom half of the table. After this clash they have a run of very winnable games coming up and they must go into that stretch with good vibes. Defensively Arteta’s side are improving all the time and they were unlucky to lose at home to Man City last time out in the PL, but they continue to be their own worst enemies in these big games against the top teams. Let’s see if Arsenal’s talented youngsters learned from that implosion against Man City. They did beat Tottenham 3-1 in the reverse fixture this season, but this Spurs side are a much different proposition under Conte after Nuno Espirito Santo was fired.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Tottenham vs Arsenal.
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Tottenham injury news, lineup options
Spurs are without Heung-min Son, which is a huge blow, while it appears Tanguy Ndombele may have played his last game for the club as Antonio Conte has been instructed to leave him out of the squad. Cristian Romero, Eric Dier, Steven Bergwijn and Sergio Reguilon are all battling to be fit for this huge clash, as Conte has plenty of defensive injuries to contend with. That means Davinson Sanchez, Ben Davies and Japhet Tanganga are likely to line up at the back.
Arsenal injury news, lineup options
The Gunners are starting to see injuries pile up and with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny all away at the Africa Cup of Nations, the squad is looking thinner than usual. Arsenal are sweating on the fitness of Emile Smith Rowe (hip), Takehiro Tomiyasu (calf) and Martin Odegaard. Expect Albert Sambi Lokonga could have a key role to play in central midfield, especially with Granit Xhaka suspended as Calum Chambers and Ben White could line up in midfield.