FeaturePremier League Clubs Choose To Fulfil Festive Fixtures Despite COVID Concerns
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HomeFeaturePremier League Clubs Choose To Fulfil Festive Fixtures Despite COVID Concerns

Premier League Clubs Choose To Fulfil Festive Fixtures Despite COVID Concerns

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Premier League clubs have chosen to fulfil the existing festive fixture schedule to the best of their ability, despite growing concerns over the rising number of coronavirus cases.

Six of the 10 scheduled Premier League games last weekend were called off due to COVID-19 outbreaks at various clubs, prompting the 20 top-flight teams to hold a meeting on Monday to discuss plans going forward.

The option of a ‘circuit-break’, which would see the Premier League paused for a couple of weeks, had been mooted, but clubs have decided against that.

No vote was held on the matter, but an agreement was reached which means that gameweeks 19 and 20 – due to take place across December 26-30 – will still go ahead as planned.

Clubs will still be able to request the postponement of matches if they feel as though they do not have enough players to fulfil a fixture, although they have been advised that they should play if they have 13 fit players plus a goalkeeper.

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At the weekend, Chelsea saw a request to have their game against Wolverhampton Wanderers called off rejected and subsequently named a matchday squad with only four outfield players on the bench.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp also warned that it would be “impossible” for his side to fulfil their current fixture schedule, which includes an EFL Cup quarter-final this week.

The Reds are understood to have been one of the clubs pushing for the final gameweek of the year to be postponed.

Some compromises have been made, though, with FA Cup replays in rounds three and four expected to be scrapped and the EFL Cup semi-finals set to be reduced to one leg instead of two.

Only seven clubs have been able to fulfil all 18 of their Premier League fixtures so far this season, while Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley have as many as three games in hand over other clubs.

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