Burnley’s Premier League game against Leicester on Saturday has been postponed due to Covid cases and injuries in Clarets’ squad.
It is the fourth Burnley game this season to be postponed due to Covid-19, but the first time the request has come from the Turf Moor club. Clarets, who had been threatened with relegation, had also had another game, against Tottenham, postponed at short notice due to heavy snowfall.
A league statement said: “The Premier League board has accepted Burnley’s application as the club does not have the required number of players available for the match (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper), due to COVID-19 cases
Burnley saw three consecutive games – against Watford, Aston Villa and Everton – postponed last month due to Covid-19 cases in the opposition camps.
The rescheduled game against Watford is scheduled for Tuesday, although there must be doubts now.
Burnley was left without seven players due to Covid-19 in last weekend’s 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Huddersfield, a match also missed by manager Sean Dyche, and Chris Wood has since joined Newcastle.
Earlier this week, Leicester’s game against Everton was postponed for a second time with the Premier League saying they had accepted Foxes’ application “because the club does not have the required number of players available for the game (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper).” due to COVID-19 cases, injuries and international players at the Africa Cup of Nations.”
Tuchel ‘very angry’ if Covid rules are abused
Asked if he felt Covid rules were being violated, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel said on Friday: “I very much hope that’s not the case, otherwise I would be very angry.
“We’re doing everything we can to make games possible and we were made to play when we thought maybe we shouldn’t. So I can only hope the rules are the same for everyone.”
Chelsea have reported one positive Covid-19 test ahead of the trip to Manchester City for Saturday’s 12:30pm Premier League kick-off, with Andreas Christensen now isolated.
The Denmark defender had only recently returned from injury but is again sidelined after a positive test. However, Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante are both in contention to be involved, albeit with very little training time under their belts.
“We have one positive Covid test, with Andreas Christensen,” Tuchel said. “So he will be out for this game.
“To have the news that Andreas Christensen is out again after we waited so long for him, and now he’s playing like this, so strong, and again he’s out. It’s a bit of a setback for everyone, for us mentally.
“We have Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante back, but it’s Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante with one practice.
“You finally have players back, and it’s like catching fish.”
Guardiola: Covid postponements are a Premier League matter
Tuchel’s rival on Saturday, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, said: “These are Premier League decisions, I’m not involved.
“Covid is all over the world. There is no part of the world where there is no Covid.”
He added: “We had a lot of cases and a lot of injuries. We played Aston Villa with 11 [first-team] players.
“We are in the same situation as all other clubs.”
Hasenhuttl: PL ‘opened the door’ for twisting Covid rules
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was strong in his press conference on Friday about the lack of transparency about postponements and how the Premier League is dealing with it.
“They’ve opened the door and it’s no surprise that someone is walking by now. I can’t say anything about the Covid situation there because normally this is why you cancel matches.”
“You have no view, no transparency and you can’t say anything about that. The rest is speculation.
“The Premier League has to deal with this. That’s why I say players/new signings shouldn’t be allowed to play in canceled matches if they haven’t been there before this game was due. This is an issue they have and it’s hard to deal with at the moment to solve.”
Which Premier League matches have been cancelled?
Brighton vs Tottenham – Sunday 12 December
Brentford vs Man Utd – Tuesday 14 December (now January 19, 8 p.m.)
Burnley vs Watford – Wednesday 15 December (now January 18 7.30 pm)
Leicester vs Tottenham – Thursday December 16 (now January 19 7.30 pm)
Man Utd vs Brighton – Saturday, December 18
Southampton vs Brentford – Saturday, December 18; Southampton won the re-arranged game 4-1 on Tuesday 11 January
Watford vs Crystal Palace – Saturday, December 18
West Ham vs Norwich – Saturday, December 18; West Ham won the rescheduled game 2-0 on Wednesday, January 12
Aston Villa vs Burnley – Saturday, December 18
Everton vs Leicester – Sunday 19 December and Tuesday 11 January
Liverpool vs. Leeds – sunday December 26
Wolves vs Watford – sunday December 26
Burnley vs Everton – sunday December 26
Leeds vs Aston Villa – Tuesday 28 December
Arsenal vs Wolves – Tuesday 28 December
Everton vs Newcastle – Thursday 30 December
Leicester vs Norwich – Saturday 1 January
Southampton vs Newcastle – Sunday January 2
Everton vs Leicester – Tuesday, January 11 (as above, this game was previously postponed from its original date of Sunday, December 19)
Burnley vs Leicester – Saturday 15 January
What are the Premier League rules around postponement?
The 2021/22 Premier League handbook contained Covid protocols and stated that the Premier League board will “allow the rescheduling or postponement of a league game only in exceptional circumstances”.
The board makes arrangements on a case-by-case basis, and by way of advice, the Premier League says no authorization for a postponement will be granted if a club has 14 or more players from their squad available.
However, following the postponement of several matches in the weeks leading up to Christmas, a new Premier League guide was published explaining the postponement of matches.
And there, these factors are taken into consideration when deciding to postpone a top-level match:
1) The impact of COVID-19 infections on a club’s squad, as well as injuries, illness and those in isolation, and the number of players available on the squad list and all players under 21 with appropriate experience. If a club cannot field 13 field players and a goalkeeper from its squad list or from its suitably experienced Under-21 players, the match will be postponed.
2) The status of a COVID-19 outbreak within a club, including the number of individuals affected, the sequence and source of infections, and their proximity to the match in question.
3) A club’s ability to safely prepare its players in the run-up to a match.
4) Medical advice whether there is an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of players and staff from playing the match.
5) Any advice from the UK Health Security Agency and other government bodies.
6) All other exceptional circumstances.