Tottenham have advantage in north London derby, says Arsenal boss Arteta

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Mikel Arteta Europa League 2020-21
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Spurs have benefitted from a Europa League fixture change ahead of their match against the Gunners

Mikel Arteta has complained about Tottenham's Europa League scheduling shift in the same breath that he said Arsenal would make no excuses in the North London Derby on March 14.

Spurs' first leg against Dinamo Zagreb three days before the derby was initially supposed to take place in Croatia but has been since moved by UEFA to London. The Gunners, meanwhile, will travel to Greece to face Olympiacos.

Arteta called the change unfair because it lets Tottenham get extra rest at home while his own side must fly back from European action.

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What did Arteta say?

“Unfortunately it’s not going to change," Arteta told reporters. "We can raise our voices and we should do that because we want to have two teams playing in equal conditions.

“But the decision has been made and that’s it. I don’t want to use one bit of excuse going towards that game saying ‘oh, they have an advantage’. So no, probably I will use that to take it in our advantage. And that’s it.”

Why was Tottenham's Europa fixture moved?

UEFA rules forbid clubs from the same city to host Europa League matches on the same day. If both Arsenal and Tottenham had been away in their first legs, they would have then been in London simultaneously to complete their respective ties. The fixture change splits them up to prevent that outcome.

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