ikel Arteta insisted that “Arsenal’s intention is to always play”, amid fears that Sunday’s north London derby could be postponed.
The Gunners were already running out of numbers ahead of last night’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Anfield, which ended 0-0, and their problems escalated after Granit Xhaka’s expulsion and the expulsion by Bukayo Saka and Cedric Soares. possible injuries.
That leaves Arsenal facing the prospect of having just 12 first-team outfielders available for Sunday’s trip to Tottenham. Premier League guidelines state that clubs must have 13 outfielders and a goalkeeper.
Arsenal are reportedly considering the possibility of requesting a postponement of the game as they assess their squad on Friday afternoon.
When asked if he would like the game to continue, Arteta replied, “I don’t know, it’s hard to say that with complete honesty without evaluating our players,
“But what is very unlikely today, tomorrow is likely to happen. It went the other way around for us when we were ready to play a game and it was called off twice because the other team had problems so it can go both ways, but our intention is still to play.
Arsenal’s squad could be strengthened by the weekend and the squad were due to show up this afternoon at their London base Colney for training.
According to League protocols, players were to undergo a series of Covid-19 tests and Arsenal had at least one team member tested positive for the virus before their last six games. Martin Odegaard tested positive ahead of the game against Liverpool and will miss Sunday’s derby.
Cedric and Saka were due to be assessed today by medical staff after limping last night, while Emile Smith Rowe (groin), Sead Kolasinac (hamstrings) and Takehiro Tomiyasu (calf) will all be checked after missing the last night’s game against Liverpool.
Mohamed Elneny, Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Thomas Partey are at the Africa Cup of Nations, bringing the list of possible Arsenal absentees to 11 for the weekend.