Mikel Arteta, Arsenal manager, believes that Tottenham, by playing their Europa League round of 16 first leg against Dinamo Zagreb at home, will have an advantage heading into the derby against the ‘Gunners’ on March 14. But Arteta said they won’t use it as an excuse.
Both José Mourinho’s Tottenham and Arsenal had to play the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 as visitors on March 11 and the return at home. But on Monday UEFA changed Spurs’ first round match against Dinamo, due to the rule that two clubs from the same city cannot play home on the same day (Tottenham and Arsenal would have played at home in London on the second leg , On March 18th).
Spurs will now host Dinamo Zagreb in London on March 11, while Arsenal will travel to Piraeus to face Olympiacos three days before their derby at Emirates Stadium on March 14.
Arteta said: “I don’t want to use Tottenham playing at home as an excuse for the game, saying, ‘Oh, they have an advantage.’ We can raise our voices and we should, we want two teams in the same conditions. But the decision has been made ”.