Burnley versus Everton third Boxing Day match to get deferred
Premier League has approved the postponement of Burnley versus Everton on Boxing Day due to the coronavirus outbreak and injuries in Rafael Benítez's squad. This means three of nine league games scheduled on Sunday have been deferred. The first two games to get postponed were - Liverpool versus Leeds United and Wolves versus Watford. So far, 13 games have been postponed in December.
- The COVID-19 outbreak in the Premier League has already impacted more than ten games.
- Going by the positive number of coronavirus cases in England's top tier in the last few days, it would not be wrong to say that these conditions are only going to get worse in the coming days.
- And, it would be interesting to see how Premier League tackles these issues.
Leeds and Watford's request to postpone their respective Boxing Day fixtures were approved on Thursday. Everton had also requested to call off their visit to Burnley but it was rebuffed. However, on Friday morning the Toffees' appeal was "regrettably approved" by Premier League. The reason behind Everton's fixture's sudden deferment was the "insufficient number of available players due to COVID-19 and injuries".
"Some of the players in our squad have been injured for two months while others are carrying knocks," Benítez said. "We will have to push them. They are not fit and who will take responsibility if something happens to them because they have to play 90 minutes? We are exposing them ... The reality is it is a risk for some of our players."
The reason behind the cancelation of Leeds' match was because of COVID-19 outbreak at the club. Injuries and illness also played a role in the deferment. Following the coronavirus outbreak, Leeds' training ground has also been shut down. Meanwhile, Watford still do not have a sufficient amount of players to field. Watford's previous match against Crystal Palace was also canceled owing to COVID-19.
Liverpool vs Leeds United - Postponed Wolves vs Watford - Postponed Burnley vs Everton - Postponed Manchester City vs Leicester City - 08:30 PM Norwich City vs Arsenal - 08:30 PM Tottenham Hotspur vs Crystal Palace - 08:30 PM West Ham United vs Southampton - 08:30 PM Aston Villa vs Chelsea - 11:00 PM Brighton & Hove Albion vs Brentford - 01:30 AM (MON)