January 23, 2021

EPL considering major fixture changes this week

January 11, 2021
Frank Lampard (left) with Kepa Arrizabalaga

The Premier League is ready to reshuffle upcoming fixtures following another Covid-19 outbreak.

Aston Villa are the latest team to be effected by a string of positive tests, which forced the club to field a squad made up of teenagers to take on Liverpool in the FA Cup.

Despite their impressive performance, league bosses are keen for their clash against Tottenham on Wednesday to be pushed back, which could see another fixture go ahead in its place.

If that is to be the case, then Fulham could be called in to take on Spurs at just two days notice, despite having a match against Chelsea booked in for Friday.

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The Athletic report that although Fulham are open to the change in plans, they would need the west London derby against Chelsea to be pushed back to Saturday.

They add that Scott Parker’s squad have been told to ‘prepare for action’ on Wednesday, but a final decision is yet to be made as the league consider their options.

Villa were forced to close their Bodymoor Heath training ground last week after 14 positive tests, and those involved will need to be in quarantine until Friday.

Despite their FA Cup clash going ahead, there is said to be concerns over fairness and integrity after previous outbreaks lead to the postponement of matches this season.

The Premier League said of their latest round of testing last week: “The Premier League is now testing players and club staff twice per week and can today confirm that between Monday 28 December and Thursday 31 December, 1,311 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19.

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“Of these, there were 28 new positive tests.

“Between Friday 1 January and Sunday 3 January, 984 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19 and of these, there were 12 new positives.

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