Tottenham Hotspur manager, Jose Mourinho, has dismissed Mikel Arteta’s claim that they have an unfair advantage over Arsenal, ahead of Sunday’s North London Derby.
The Gunners host Spurs with both sides looking for three points to keep alive their hopes of finishing in a European qualification spot.
Before then, in midweek, they play Europa League last-16 ties, with Spurs taking on Dinamo Zagreb and Arsenal facing Olympiacos.
Both sides were drawn to play the away leg from home first, however, UEFA rules provide that two clubs from the same city are not permitted to play on the same day.
As a result, Spurs will now play Zagreb at home on Thursday, while Arsenal faces a near-3,000 mile round trip to Greece.
Speaking after the decision was made, Arteta who was clearly not happy, said, “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.”
When asked about the situation on Wednesday, Mourinho did not have any sympathy for Arteta and pointed to a reverse situation when the two sides faced each other earlier in the season.
He said: “On December 6th we played Arsenal in our stadium. On December 3rd they played at home against Rapid Vienna. At the same time, we were playing on the ice in Linz against LASK with a late flight that landed back in London at 3am. Was that an advantage to Arsenal?”
Spurs won the reverse fixture 2-0 last year.