Tottenham are angry at rivals Arsenal after they asked to postpone Sunday’s north London derby due to not having enough players to get the match done.
Arsenal are set to make the short trip to face neighbors Tottenham this week, but they have a handful of players missing due to coronavirus, injury, suspension and the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Premier League will decide on Saturday whether the match will take place.
Sky Sports News He understands that the Spurs hierarchy is angry at the idea of postponing the match and believes that there is currently no coronavirus outbreak at Arsenal.
However, earlier this week, Leicester’s match at Everton was postponed for a second time with the Premier League announcing that Foxes’ request had been accepted “due to COVID-19 cases, injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations”.
An Arsenal statement read: “We can confirm that we have submitted a request to the Premier League to postpone Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.
“We have taken this step reluctantly but we have several players who are not currently in our squad due to injuries and players out of their countries at the Africa Cup of Nations.
“We will provide more information as soon as it becomes available.”
Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard missed Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg tie against Liverpool due to Covid-19, while Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiasu were left out due to injury.
Cedric Soares was forced to leave early at Anfield with Bukayo Saka also being battered as Granit Xhaka’s red card in the first half left Mikel Arteta’s side exhausted.
Meanwhile, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all away at the Africa Cup of Nations.
A statement from the Premier League said: “The Premier League has received a request for a postponement from Arsenal Football Club in connection with their away match against Tottenham Hotspur, scheduled for 4.30pm on Sunday 16 January.
He added, “The Premier League’s board of directors will meet tomorrow to review the request and inform the two clubs and their fans of its decision.”
Arteta: Our goal has always been to play
Earlier on Friday, Arteta insisted he was preparing for the match, which will take place after matches against Wolverhampton and Liverpool were postponed last month at the request of the opponent.
Asked if he would like to finish the match, he said: “I don’t know, it’s hard to say in complete honesty without evaluating our players.
“What is very unlikely today, is likely to happen tomorrow. It went the other way for us when we were ready to play a match and it was called off twice because the other team had issues so it can go both ways. But our intention is always to play.”
Conte: We have a lot of injuries, but we are preparing for the match
Tottenham coach Conte was also affected by the absence of key players, as Eric Dier, Heung-min Son, Christian Romero and Sergio Reguilon are expected to miss the match, while the club is also checking the case of the Corona virus.
The Italian said: “For us, it is very, very important to get all the important players back more than other teams. Yes, it is life for us to get these players back.
“As you well know, we have many, many infections. Then there is always the Covid situation every day, you have to check it.
“Sometimes you find a surprise. But we are preparing for the match against Arsenal.”
Burnley vs Leicester match postponed
Earlier on Friday, Burnley’s Premier League match against Leicester on Saturday was postponed due to Covid cases and injuries in the Clarets squad.
This is Burnley’s fourth game to be postponed this season due to Covid-19 but the first time the request has come from Turf Moor club. Clarett, who is threatened with relegation, also played another match against Tottenham, which was postponed at short notice due to heavy snow.
And a league statement said: “The English Premier League board accepted Burnley’s request because the club does not have the required number of players available for the match (13 players outside the field and one goalkeeper), due to cases of coronavirus infection and injuries.”
Burnley had three straight games – against Watford, Aston Villa and Everton – postponed last month due to Covid-19 cases within the opposition camps.
The re-arranged match against Watford is set to take place on Tuesday, although now is in doubt.
Burnley were without seven players due to Covid-19 during last weekend’s 2-1 FA Cup loss to Huddersfield, a match that manager Sean Daichi also missed, and since then Chris Wood has joined Newcastle.
Tuchel ‘very angry’ if Covid rules are abused
Asked if he felt he was abusing the Covid rules, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said on Friday: “I very much hope that’s not the case, otherwise I would be very angry.
“We do our best to make matches happen and we were playing when we thought we shouldn’t. So, I can only very much hope that the rules are the same for everyone.”
Chelsea reported one positive test for Covid-19 before the 12:30pm flight to Manchester City on Saturday in the Premier League, with Andreas Christensen now in isolation.
The Danish defender had recently come back from injury due to injury, but missed out again after he came back with a positive test. However, Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante are in contention to participate, albeit with a little training time under their belts.
“We have one positive test for Covid with Andreas Christensen,” Tuchel said. “So he will come out for this match.
“For the news that Andreas Christensen is out again after we’ve waited so long for him, and now he’s playing really, really hard, and again out. It’s a setback for everyone, for us mentally.
“Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante are back, but Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante are in one training session.
“I finally got my players back, and it’s like fishing.”
Hasenhuttl: PL ‘opening the door’ to devious Covid rules
In his press conference on Friday, Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was vocal about the lack of transparency over postponements and how the Premier League handled them.
“They opened the door, and you can’t be surprised that someone is passing by now. I can’t say anything about the Covid situation there because that’s usually the reason for the games being canceled.
“You have no opinion, no transparency, and you can’t say anything about it. The rest is just speculation.
“The Premier League has to deal with this. That’s why I say that new players / signings should not be allowed to play in canceled matches when they weren’t there before this match is due. This is a problem they have and it is difficult to solve at the moment.”
What English Premier League matches have been cancelled?
Brighton vs Tottenham – Sunday December 12
Brentford vs Man United Tuesday 14th December (Now Jan 19, 8 p.m.)
Burnley Watford match – Wednesday 15th December (Now Jan 18, 7.30 p.m.)
Leicester vs Tottenham Thursday, December 16th (Now Jan 19, 7.30 p.m.)
Manchester United vs Brighton Saturday 18th December
Southampton – Brentford Saturday, December 18; Southampton won the rematch 4-1 on Tuesday 11 January
Watford vs Crystal Palace Saturday 18th December
West Ham vs Norwich Saturday 18th December; West Ham won the rematch 2-0 on Wednesday 12 January
Aston Villa vs Burnley Saturday 18th December
Everton vs Leicester Sunday 19 December and Tuesday 11 January
Liverpool vs Leeds – Sunday 26 December
Wolverhampton vs Watford – Sunday 26 December
Burnley vs Everton match – Sunday 26 December
Leeds vs Aston Villa Tuesday 28th December
Arsenal vs wolves Tuesday 28th December
Everton x Newcastle Thursday, December 30th
Leicester vs Norwich – Saturday January 1
Southampton – Newcastle – Sunday 2 January
Everton vs Leicester – Tuesday, January 11th (As above, this game has already been postponed from its original date of Sunday, December 19th)
Burnley vs Leicester Saturday January 15th
What are the Premier League rules about postponements?
The 2021/22 Premier League handbook included the Covid protocols and stated that the Premier League’s board of directors would “only allow a re-arrangement or postponement of a league match in exceptional circumstances”.
The board is making calls on a case-by-case basis and by directing the Premier League says permission to defer will not be granted if the club has 14 or more players from the squad list available.
However, after a number of matches were postponed in the weeks leading up to Christmas, a new Premier League guide has been published explaining protocols for postponing matches.
There, these factors are taken into account when deciding to postpone a Premier League match:
1) The impact of COVID-19 infection on the club’s team, as well as injuries, illness, isolation, the number of players available on the team’s roster and any under-21 player with appropriate experience. When the club is unable to bring in 13 off-field players and a goalkeeper either from the team’s roster or its appropriately experienced under-21 players, the match will be postponed.
2) The status of any outbreak of COVID-19 within the club, including the number of individuals affected, the sequence and source of infection and their proximity to the match in question.
3) The club’s ability to prepare its players safely in the lead-up to the match.
4) Medical advice on whether there is any unacceptable risk to the health and safety of players and staff by playing the match.
5) Any advice from the UK’s Health Security Agency and other public bodies.
6) Any other exceptional circumstances.