Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has voiced his displeasure with a fixture change that will see them play Tottenham in the north London derby on 14 March after a seven-hour round trip to Greece, while Tottenham will have more time to prepare.
Three days before their match at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were drawn to play away in the first legs of their Europa League last-16 matches.
Due to Uefa rules banning teams from the same city from playing at home on the same night, Spurs’ matches against Dinamo Zagreb have been rescheduled. It means they’ll face Croatia at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on March 11, though Arsenal will have to travel to and from Athens to play Olympiakos.
According to The Guardian, Arteta said, “Unfortunately, it’s not going to improve. We can lift our voices, and we can do so because we want two teams competing under the same conditions. However, the decision has been taken, and that is the end of it. I don’t want to use some kind of rationalization when it comes to that game, such as, “Oh, they have an advantage.” So I’ll most likely use it to our benefit, and that’ll be the end of it.”