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Arsenal ask Premier League to postpone North London derby due to Covid crisis and injuries

rsenal have made a formal request to the Premier League for Sunday’s North London Derby to be postponed as they are having difficulty with player availability.

The Gunners have seen their squad badly depleted by Covid and injuries, while four players are out of the Africa Cup of Nations and Granit Xhaka is suspended after being sent off in Thursday’s Carabao Cup draw with Liverpool.

Arsenal had already struggled to get numbers for this game and their problems were exacerbated by the sacking of Xhaka, as well as injuries which forced Bukayo Saka and Cedric Soares out before the end.

Earlier on Friday, Arteta said he expected the game to continue but club staff were waiting to assess the extent of those injuries.

Premier League rules state that clubs must have 13 senior outfield players and one goalkeeper available to fill matches.

A club statement said: “We took this step reluctantly, but we have many players currently unavailable in our squad due to Covid, injuries and players absent with their country at CAN.

“We will provide more information as it becomes available.”

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