Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hints North London derby vs Spurs could be CALLED OFF due to injuries, Afcon and Covid crisis

MIKEL ARTETA still doesn’t know if Sunday’s North London derby will go ahead as the Arsenal boss continues to struggle to string a team together.

The club are in discussions with the Premier League as they wait for further fitness updates ahead of the trip to Tottenham.

Mikel Arteta still doesn’t know if Sunday’s North London derby will go ahead


Mikel Arteta still doesn’t know if Sunday’s North London derby will go aheadCredit: EPA

With four players away at the African Cup of Nations, Granit Xhaka suspended plus injury and Covid concerns surrounding another seven, Arsenal are now right on the borderline of the minimum 13 players plus a goalkeeper required to play a Premier League game.

The club is expected to wait for further updates tomorrow before any final decision is taken over whether to submit a formal request for the game to be postponed.

Arteta said: “I don’t know if the game will be off. 

“It’s difficult to say that with total honesty without assessing our players, but what is very unlikely today is likely to happen tomorrow.

“It has gone the other way for us recently when we were ready to play a match and it was twice cancelled because the other team had issues.

“So it can go both ways, but our intention is always to play.”


He added: “We already had concerns before the match against Liverpool, and after the game we had some more issues.

“We haven’t been able to assess the squad yet because we couldn’t fly last night, so we just arrived at the training ground and all the boys are being looked after. So we don’t know.”

Xhaka is out having been shown a straight red against Liverpool for his foul on Diego Jota in the League Cup semi-final first leg at Anfield.

The midfielder later apologised to fans and congratulated his team-mates after holding out for a 0-0 draw.

He posted online: “I want to apologise to everyone,’ Xhaka wrote on Instagram shortly after the final whistle.

“I am so proud of my team and the spirit that they showed to keep a clean sheet tonight.”

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Granit Xhaka was sent off against Liverpool


Granit Xhaka was sent off against LiverpoolCredit: EPA


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