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Manager admits North London derby might be postponed

Mikel Arteta admits there is a possibility that the North London derby could be postponed as a result of the number of absentees within the squad.

The Spaniard speaking after his side’s league cup draw against Liverpool said it’s a possibility the games could be postponed.

Midfielder Granit Xhaka got his matching orders against Liverpool, Cedric Soares and Bukayo Saka both limped off the game, Thomas Partey Nicholas Pepe and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang are out representing their various countries at the African Cup of Nations, they also have players either out due to COVID or injured. This means the Gunners might have up to eleven players out of the game.

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Arteta said: “It is a possibility in every game.

“From our side, from the opponent’s side, because of the amount of issues everyone is having and because it is happening every week.”

“We try to prepare games thinking we are going to play.”

Arteta also praised his team relentless effort in keeping the Liverpool side from scoring any goal after Granit Xhaka got his matching orders.

“I am really proud of the what the boys did today, in a difficult stadium against a great opponent and playing 70 minutes with 10 men,” he said.

“It was about the fight, the spirit and commitment and quality to play the game.

“When you come to a stadium like this you have to pick players who are happy to go to war because you are going to have to fight, you are going to have difficult moments to suffer.

“You are willing to accept you are are not going to play the game you want.”

“When you play with that spirit and fight and brotherhood around the team you get rewarded and I think that is what happened.” he added.

Mikel Arteta’s side will be looking to replicate their effort and book a spot at the final of the league cup to face Chelsea.

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