On Friday, Dan Kilpatrick reported that Tottenham Hotspur are concerned that Arsenal could request to postpone Sunday’s North London derby, given their situation with Covid, injuries, and other absences.
It has now been confirmed that Arsenal are in talks with the Premier League over the fixture.
— Nick Ames (@NickAmes82) January 14, 2022
According to the Premier League rules on postponements, a match will be postponed if a club cannot field 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper.
Assuming Cedric Soares, Emile Smith Rowe, Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Sead Kolasinac remain injured, and Martin Odegaard’s Covid-19 positive leaves him absent too, here is the list of available outfield players from Arsenal’s 25-man Premier League squad:
- Calum Chambers
- Gabriel Magalhaes
- Rob Holding
- Alexandre Lacazette
- Pablo Mari
- Eddie Nketiah
- Albert Sambi Lokonga
- Kieran Tierney
- Ben White
You also have to count u21s who have made first-team appearances (not including the FA Cup third round).
For Arsenal, that’s Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Nuno Tavares, and Charlie Patino.
Miguel Azeez has also made a first-team appearance, but his recall from loan hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, so he’s seemingly unavailable for the match.
In total, that means Arsenal have 13 outfield players available. That wouldn’t be few enough to have the game called off.
But if anyone else picks up Covid-19, or if (for example) Saka doesn’t recover from the knock that forced him off against Liverpool, then Arsenal could request a postponement.
The fixture is very much in the balance right now.