Neville urges Prem to reject Arsenal request and says teams are ‘calling games off based on if they’ve got best squad’

GARY NEVILLE believes Arsenal should be made to play their match against Tottenham.

The Gunners requested the Premier League postpone the game with Mikel Arteta’s side potentially missing up to 13 senior players.

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Arsenal have asked for the Tottenham game to be postponed despite having only one positive Covid case[/caption]

But only one of those players is a Covid absentee and because of that Neville is adamant Arsenal must fulfil the fixture.

Speaking ahead of Brighton’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Sky Sports, Neville said: “I believe that all teams, not just in the Premier League but in the EFL, must be made to play their fixtures.

“Balogun’s gone on loan, Maitland-Niles has gone on loan, Xhaka’s got a red card – that’s not the fault of anyone else. We can’t be calling fixtures off.

“If it was purely down to Covid and extraordinary circumstances where there are 10-15 players out but we’re now talking about teams over the last few weeks where they’ve been calling games off based upon whether they’ve got the best team to win a game.

“It’s got to stop and that’s not a dig at Arsenal.

“I should have spoken three or four weeks ago. Manchester United, other teams have got 30-40 players in the squad – I’m not having they can’t get 13-14 players together.

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“It should be rejected unless there are a load of Covid cases today at Arsenal. It has to stop now this and we have to make teams play.”

Arsenal are keen to get the game postponed due to injuries to Emile Smith Rowe, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Sead Kolasinac, while Bukayo Saka, Kieran Tierney, Calum Chambers and Cedric Soares are also doubtful.

Martin Odegaard missed the Liverpool clash through Covid while Granit Xhaka is suspended after being sent off at Anfield.

Meanwhile, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Folarin Balogun were allowed to leave on loan despite Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Mohamed Elneny all going to the African Cup of Nations.

But other teams have had fixtures called off in similar circumstances.

Liverpool were allowed to push back their Carabao Cup meeting with Arsenal – though it later transpired that Trent Alexander-Arnold was the only player who tested positive for Covid ahead of that fixture.

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