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Frustrated Arsenal boss Arteta hits out at unfair advantage given to Tottenham

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was not a happy man after UEFA changed Tottenham Hotspur’s schedule in the Europa League.

Spurs were initially scheduled to travel to Croatia for their first-leg clash against Dinamo Zagreb. Arsenal were drawn to face Olympiacos in Greece on the same day. That meant that the reverse fixtures for both clubs would take place in North London on the same day, which is against UEFA’s rules.


As Arsenal won the FA Cup last season, our fixture was unaltered, but Spurs’ was reversed. They now play their first-leg at home, which is a real boost considering that the North London derby is scheduled three days later.

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Arteta is really annoyed that Arsenal will have to travel all the way to Greece and back, while Spurs can just chill at home. He believes that it is an unfair advantage to Tottenham, but claimed that he will not use that as an excuse for the derby.

He said, as per Goal: “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.”

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Arsenal Insider’s view:

There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that Spurs have an advantage going into the derby. They will be a lot fresher and that could well give them the upper hand against an Arsenal side who might only get a day to prepare for that game.

On the flip side, playing the second-leg of a European knockout game at home is usually an advantage as well. Teams often prefer that in the draw and Arsenal will be glad that it turned out that way.

However, with no fans in the stadium, does home advantage really matter?

Arteta has every right to be annoyed but there’s absolutely nothing we can do to change things now.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

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