Mikel Arteta sets out position on whether Leeds United v Arsenal should go ahead as it stands

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The Premier League’s Christmas football calendar has been thrown into disarray due to a spike in positive coronavirus cases within clubs.

Several clubs have seen fixtures called off due to a rise in positive tests at training grounds, with the Premier League making the executive decision to call off four further matches:

Southampton v Brentford , Saturday, 18 December 15:00 GMT

Watford v Crystal Palace , Saturday, 18 December 15:00 GMT

West Ham United v Norwich City , Saturday, 18 December 15:00 GMT

Everton v Leicester City , Sunday, 19 December 12:00 GMT

As things stand, Leeds will host Arsenal as planned on Saturday evening with no positive cases currently reported within either camp.

Leeds United will be shown live on TV against Arsenal this weekend. (Image: 2021 Getty Images)

Manchester United’s game with Brighton and Hove Albion this weekend was among the first to be postponed due to a rise in infections after a reported 19 members of staff – including some players – had tested positive for the virus at the Manchester club’s Carrington training base.

Yesterday, Marcelo Bielsa gave his verdict on facing teams with potentially depleted squads in his pre-match press conference: “I wouldn’t like to come up against a team who has their team depleted due to COVID. I wouldn’t like to take advantage of that. With respect to the other things about your question and the authorities are the ones who have the information to make those types of decisions.”

Today, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been speaking to the media, revealing his stance on the ongoing matter.

“I don’t know what the best solution is. I understand it’s really complicated. What I’m saying is let’s make a decision based on what is best for the competition and the health of everyone involved. After that then clear guidance on if it’s a yes or a no,” as quoted by football.london.

At the beginning of the pandemic back in March 2020, Arteta’s positive test is suspected to have been the tipping point which led the Premier League to postpone matches indefinitely for what turned out to be a three-month period.

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