Mikel Arteta has admitted it is “a possibility” that Sunday’s north London derby with Tottenham could be postponed, but Arsenal are preparing as if the game will go ahead.
Arsenal are desperately short on numbers ahead of the match with Spurs and they could be without 10 outfield players for the weekend after Cedric limped off against Liverpool.
Bukayo Saka was also forced to come off late on, which would increase Arsenal’s number of unavailable players to 11.
That would leave Arsenal with 12 first-team outfield players available, with the Premier League guidance stating clubs must be able to field 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper.
It is unclear, however, if Xhaka’s suspension would be included in Arsenal’s list of unavailable players.
And asked if he feared Sunday’s north London derby may not go ahead: “I don’t know.
“It’s a possibility in every game, from our side, from the opponent’s side, because of the amount of issues that everybody is having and because it’s happening every week.
“But we try to prepare for games thinking we are going to play. If something happens along the way, it is what it is.”
Arteta was speaking in the wake of Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final.
The Gunners had to dig deep against Liverpool, playing for 65 minutes with 10 men after Granit Xhaka was sent off.
“We revel against the situation,” Arteta said. “The players showed great fight, determination, brotherhood. You saw the emotion, we never gave up. Credit to the boys.
“I don’t know if the red card inspired them but it took the fight. You need a certain attitude to play in these games and the boys did that. We played the game we had to play, which is not our game. I have not seen it back, they checked it, so [it is] probably a red card.”