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Manchester United

Burnley vs Watford called off due to Covid as Leicester and Tottenham forced to play


Wednesday’s Premier League clash between Burnley and Watford has been postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak within the visitors’ squad, while Tottenham Hotspur’s match at Leicester City will go ahead

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The Premier League match between Burnley and Watford has been postponed following a Covid-19 outbreak in the visitors’ squad.

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Wednesday’s clash at Turf Moor was called off two-and-a-half hours before kick-off as Watford became the latest side to be hit with a wave of cases.

Claudio Ranieri and co follow Manchester United, who had their game at Brentford on Tuesday postponed after a host of positive tests were returned.

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur will face Leicester City on Thursday despite both teams suffering outbreaks of their own.

Spurs had to call off their last two matches, against Rennes and Brighton & Hove Albion.

The news comes after coronavirus cases in the UK reached record levels, with 78,610 new positive tests reported on Wednesday, as the Omicron variant continues to rapidly spread.

Watford will not face Burnley due to a Covid-19 outbreak
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Image:

Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth)

The figure surpasses the previous daily peak in UK cases, which was 68,053 in January this year.

According to the UK Health Security Agency, 4,671 new cases of Omicron were reported on Wednesday, bringing the total to 10,017.

A statement from the Premier League read: “The decision was taken following guidance from medical advisers due to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak within Watford’s squad. As a result, the club has an insufficient number of First Team players available to fulfil the match.

“The Premier League understands this decision will disappoint and frustrate fans who were due to attend this evening’s game and apologises for the inconvenience and disruption caused at such short notice.

“In considering any application to postpone, the Board considers a range of sporting and medical factors. Each decision is taken on a case-by-case basis with everyone’s health of utmost importance.

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“In light of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, the Premier League has reintroduced Emergency Measures. These include protocols such as more frequent testing, wearing face coverings while indoors, observing social distancing and limiting treatment time.”

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers revealed that the club have been knocked back when they requested to the have their clash with Tottenham rearranged.

“We have looked at that, unfortunately for us we were not granted any dispensation, which is obviously disappointing,” Rodgers explained.

“We are a team and a club who have always wanted to support all measures and everything else but maybe when you need that bit of support with the extreme situation that we were in, we were not able to get that which was disappointing.

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Rodgers had hoped Leicester’s match against Tottenham would be postponed

“But we have tried to maintain the training ground staying open and people functioned here. We were big doubt for the game against Newcastle with all the issues and problems that we had but for greater good of game and the supporters, we obviously played the game.

“But since then we have picked up a couple more injuries as well which are maybe not strictly from Covid but are certainly Covid-related because players who have been unavailable to play are having to play and pick up injuries because we can’t rotate the squad and the team.

Have your say! How should Tottenham line up against Leicester? Pick your team below.

“We will put out the best team that we can. We will assess things game by game.

“If you look at the proximity of the games coming up, it is an incredible run of games and a challenging fixture list at any times when you have a full squad. But with the numbers we have it is extremely challenging.

“We’ll try to get through it. We have always tried to respect the competition and again that is what we will do.

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“But I’m sure there will have been games called off with less players than we have unavailable. It would be nice if there was a bit more clarity around the issue of how many players need to be unavailable. It is all a bit disappointing.”

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