Mikel Arteta fears that Arsenal may not have enough players for the north London exchange


Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes the Gunners are dangerously close to not having enough players available for the upcoming north London exchange against Tottenham.

Granit Xhaka was sent off in Thursday’s Carabao Cup draw with Liverpool, where both Cedric Soares and Bukayo Saka limped off injured, and all that came after Martin Odegaard was forced to withdraw from the squad after testing positive for Covid-19.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey are away in the Africa Cup of Nations, while Takehiro Tomiyasu and Emile Smith Rowe are among those dealing with injuries.

Arteta is worried that he can only have 12 senior players for Sunday’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which may see them forced to postpone the match.

“There is an opportunity in every match,” Arteta said of a possible postponement (via the Daily Mail). “From our side, from the side of the opponents, because of the amount of problems that everyone has and because it happens every week.

“We try to prepare for matches with the idea that we will play. If something happens along the way, that’s what it is.”

He continued: “We came here and we are already missing nine or ten players. Listen, we do not know what to expect from the next day, so we can not look at it and constantly have to fall into it. And use it as an apology.

“We have to play matches, it’s our job, we know the context we are in and it can change, and it can change to an even more difficult position, but the team has to be rebuilt and we have players who have decided to play and on Sunday again, we will try to do the same. “

Arteta declined to confirm if he will request that the match be postponed but acknowledged that the decision could be taken out of his hands if the Gunners continue to lose players.

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