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EPL festive schedule under serious threat

Zimbabweans Gripped By English Premier League Drama

EPL festive schedule under serious threat

LONDON. — The English Premier League football’s festive schedule is under serious threat from coronavirus after several clubs reported outbreaks of the illness in their squad this weekend.

Manchester United and Aston Villa were the latest clubs to be affected by Covid-19 after reports from The Athletic claimed both sides had to cancel training sessions on Sunday ahead of their upcoming games next midweek.

England’s top-flight football division is already have to rejig its schedule after Tottenham suffered a serious outbreak of the disease — leaving them with just 11 available players this week — which caused their trip to Brighton the be postponed.

Meanwhile, Queen’s Park Rangers’ Championship fixture with Sheffield United yesterday has also been pushed back after a coronavirus outbreak at the west London club. United and Villa both have away games tonight against Brentford and Norwich respectively and the chances of those matches going ahead have been reduced.

The Premier League are said to be aware of both situations but have not called off the matches as of 6pm on Sunday night — just over 48 hours before those games go ahead. United took on Norwich on Saturday night and their entire squad recorded negative cases — but a small number of players and staff tested positive a day later.

Norwich boss Dean Smith revealed that his club had some Covid-19 related issues in the build-up to Saturday’s game, while Leicester have also been missing players this week due to the virus.

United defender Victor Lindelof came off mid-way through their match with Norwich as he pointed to his chest, complaining that he was struggling to breathe.

Lindelof looked in discomfort and after a few minutes of treatment was taken to the dressing room, where he underwent tests.

Meanwhile, Villa boss Steven Gerrard told the media last Friday that the club’s chief executive Christian Purslow was due to talk to the players yesterday amid concerns about the spread of Covid-19.

English Premiership Mid-week Fixtures

Today: Brentford v Manchester United (9:30pm); Norwich City v Aston Villa (9:45pm); Manchester City v Leeds United (10pm).

Tomorrow: Crystal Palace v Southampton (9:30pm); Burnley v Watford (9:30pm); Brighton v Wolverhampton Wanderers (9:30pm); Arsenal v West Ham (10pm).

Thursday: Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur (9:30pm); Chelsea v Everton (9:45pm); Liverpool v Newcastle (10pm).

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