Arsenal will host Southampton in Wednesday's Premier League game behind closed doors after London was placed in the toughest tier of COVID-19 restrictions following a sharp rise in coronavirus infection rates.

Arsenal were among the 10 Premier League clubs who were allowed to welcome back 2,000 fans earlier this month when London was initially classified as falling into Tier 2 or high alert regions when a month-long national lockdown was lifted.

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But the UK government said on Monday that London was moved to Tier 3, citing an exponential rise in infection rates as one of the world's richest cities struggles to contain the disease.

"We are disappointed to confirm that we are no longer able to welcome fans to Emirates Stadium for our Premier League fixture against Southampton on Wednesday, December 16," Arsenal said in a statement.

"As it currently stands, we are unable to welcome fans to Emirates Stadium for subsequent upcoming fixtures and therefore will not run any ballots until further notice."

Fulham's home game against Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday has also been pushed behind closed doors, while West Ham United too will host Crystal Palace without spectators on the same day.

The four clubs with fans

The change in restrictions means for the forseeable future only Brighton, Everton, Liverpool and Southampton will be allowed 2,00 supporters at matches, with all clubs currently situated within Tier 2 areas.

Liverpool host Spurs in a top-of-the-table clash on Wednesday, while Everton, Brighton and Southampton are all at home on the weekend.

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