Arsenal and the Premier League are in discussions regarding whether Sunday’s north London derby will go ahead, with Mikel Arteta’s side heavily affected by injuries and Covid-19.
At least 12 players could be unavailable for the match at Tottenham and, with the league’s rules stating a game can be called off if a team are unable to field 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper, Arsenal are investigating whether they will be able to request a postponement.
Arsenal went into Thursday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Liverpool with eight first-teamers, four of whom are away at the Africa Cup of Nations, absent but their concerns have increased since then. Granit Xhaka will be suspended and Cédric Soares and Bukayo Saka picked up knocks at Anfield.
Martin Ødegaard was the only senior player known to be absent with coronavirus and the Premier League’s stance may be determined by the results of Covid-19 testing carried out at the club on Friday.
The match is a critical one for both sides in the push for a Champions League spot. Arsenal and Spurs sit fifth and sixth respectively and there is no doubt the visitors will be significantly weakened if the game goes ahead.