With 12 Arsenal players believed to be absent from the Tottenham Hotspur match, Gary Neville has called on the Premier League to reject their request to postpone the match.
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Manchester United legend Gary Neville has called on the Premier League to reject Arsenal’s request to postpone the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.
Mikel Arteta’s team has reportedly requested that their raucous match against Antonio Conte’s team be cancelled.
The Spaniard is currently missing 12 players due to injuries, suspensions, positive tests for the Corona virus and the African Nations Cup.
It may also be without more of his stars, because they are also waiting for the results of more tests.
However, Neville strongly criticized their request, believing that the artillery was in a position to put together a team.
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“I honestly believe that all the teams, not only in the Premier League but in the Premier League now should play their matches,” he said before Brighton and Hove Albion’s match against Crystal Palace.
“[Folarin] Balogun went on loan, [Ainsley] Maitland-Niles is on loan. [Granit] Xhaka got a red card – it’s not anyone else’s fault.
“We cannot cancel matches. If it is because of Covid and the exceptional circumstances where there were 10 or 15 players [it would be acceptable].
“But, now we’re talking about teams in the last few weeks where there is no doubt that they have been stopping matches whether they think they have the best team or the best team to win the match.”
Arteta Granit Xhaka’s side lost a direct red card in their 0-0 away draw with Liverpool in the League Cup semi-final first leg.
He could also be without Cedric Soares and Bukayo Saka, who both suffered blows in the match against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Martin Odegaard is also going through a period of isolation after he tested positive for Covid before the match at Anfield, while players such as Nicolas Pepe and Thomas Partey are out of international service.
While he has not called for the match to be called off outright, Arteta said he is very concerned about the possibility of losing more players.
“I don’t know, it’s hard to say that quite frankly without evaluating our players, but what is unlikely today, is likely to happen tomorrow,” Arteta said in a pre-match press conference.
“Things went the other way for us when we were ready to play a match and it was canceled twice because the other team had issues so it can go both ways. But our intention is always to play.”
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Burnley’s home match against Leicester City is 19 y The English Premier League match will be canceled since 12 y December.
Sean Dyche’s side have come under fire, due to the fact that they requested a delay just days after they sold Chris Wood to Newcastle United for £25m.
And Neville believes Premier League clubs have more than enough players to play matches, even if they have a large absentee list.
“It should be stopped. This is not research at Arsenal, I should have spoken three or four weeks ago,” added Neville.
“Manchester United, other teams, have 30-40 players on their squad.
“I don’t have that they can’t get 14. 15, 16 players together, so for me, that should be rejected.”