The Premier League said in a statement: “Following a request from Arsenal FC, the Premier League Board met today and regrettably agreed to postpone the club’s away fixture against Tottenham Hotspur, due to be played at 4:30pm on Sunday 16 January.

“With Arsenal having fewer than the required number of players available for the match (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper), the Board accepted the club’s application.

“The decision is a result of a combination of COVID-19, existing and recent injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations. All clubs are able to apply for a postponement if COVID-19 infections are a factor in their request.”

According to the Mirror, “The decision has outraged Tottenham, although precedent for such a decision has been set since December.  However it does follow the line that the League took in calling off  Leicester City’s game away to Everton was postponed for a second time, with the Premier League stating they accepted the Leicester application “due to COVID-19 cases, injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations.”

Among the missing are Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu, Cedric Soares,  Bukayo Saka, Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

It is not clear if Tottenham supported the move to call off the game as he stated that they too had a range of missing players saying, “For us, much more than other teams it’s very, very important to recover all the important players.

Gary Neville, increasingly an opinion until himself has attacked Arsenal saying that teams should be made to play their fixtures, although he doesn’t seem to have explained exactly why this is important.

According to the Telegraph “Critics of the postponement have also pointed to Arsenal being able to field an Under 23s side against West Ham on Friday night.”

The league stated

“The league apologises for the inconvenience and disruption caused to supporters who would have attended or watched the game – we are fully aware that postponements disappoint clubs and fans. The league aims to provide as much clarity as possible, but unfortunately, postponements sometimes have to be made at short notice, as safety is our priority. Where possible, the League will endeavour to keep supporters updated if games become at risk.”

An Arsenal statement read: “We are disappointed to announce that Sunday’s north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur has been postponed.

“We know how much this match means to our fans around the world, but the Premier League has made the decision to postpone the match, due to many players across our squad currently being unavailable as a result of COVID-19, existing and recent injuries, in addition to players away with their countries at AFCON.”

The Telegraph reports  that the match is the 21st top-flight game to be postponed this season because of Covid.

According to the Guardian the team we would have put out if we had played was


Chambers Holding Gabriel Tierney

Saka White Lokonga Martinelli

Lacazette Nketiah