Gerrard to miss Chelsea and Leeds game after contracting coronavirus
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has tested positive for COVID-19. Villa confirmed the news on Saturday via a press release. Gerrard is set to miss Villa's next two Premier League games after contracting the deadly virus. He will not be in the dugout for their home match against Chelsea on Boxing Day and will miss their trip to Leeds next Tuesday.
Why does it matter?
- Villa's match against Chelsea is one of the six fixtures still slated to go ahead on Sunday despite the COVID-19 outbreak in England's top division.
- Villa's match against Burnley was deferred due to several positive coronavirus cases in the club.
- After that, Gerrard had revealed one of the players in his squad was reluctant to "get out of the car" due to the outbreak.
Gerrard in isolation for the second time in 2021
This is the second time this season when Gerrard has been sidelined from his squad due to coronavirus. Earlier in August, he missed the Scottish team Rangers' two key matches against Alashkert and Celtic as manager after the COVID-19 outbreak in the club.
Aston Villa on Gerrard
"Aston Villa can confirm head coach Steven Gerrard will be unable to attend our next two Premier League matches with Chelsea and Leeds United as he will be isolating after testing positive for Covid-19," the club said in a statement.
Games canceled on Boxing Day in English football
Overall, 25 games on Boxing Day in England's top four divisions have been postponed. Three of these games - Liverpool vs Leeds United, Wolves vs Watford, and Burnley vs Everton - are from the top tier. Luton's home game against Bristol City and Carlisle versus Rochdale match were the latest fixtures in the top four division to get called off.
Gerrard replaced Dean Smith as Villa manager
Gerrard was appointed Aston Villa's manager last month following the sacking of Dean Smith. The former Liverpool captain replaces Dean Smith, who was sacked after the club suffered five consecutive defeats. Gerrard, who joined Aston Villa on a three-and-a-half-year deal, earlier worked with Scottish Premiership side Rangers for three years. He helped them win their first league title in 10 years, last season.
Villa have amassed 22 points this season
Aston Villa are placed at the tenth spot in the latest Premier League standings with 22 points. They have played 17 games winning seven, losing nine while one game ended in a draw. Villa's last match against Burnley was canceled. They have played four games this month and won twice (against Norwich and Leicester City) while losing as many (against Liverpool and Man City)