Burnley vs Everton OFF as it becomes third Boxing Day match postponed due to Covid outbreak in Benitez's sideDecember 24, 2021
BURNLEY'S home clash with Everton on Boxing Day has become the latest fixture to be postponed due to Covid.
The match is the third casualty so far to be pushed back following an outbreak of coronavirus within Rafa Benitez's Toffees squad.
That means just six of England's top-flight games scheduled for Sunday are still currently on.
Liverpool and Leeds United and Watford's visit to Wolves were postponed because of coronavirus yesterday.
A statement from the Premier League confirmed: “The Premier League Board has this morning regrettably approved Everton FC’s request to postpone their Boxing Day away fixture at Burnley FC
“Everton were due to travel to Turf Moor to play on Sunday, at 3pm. The Board reviewed the club’s request today to postpone the match following further injuries to their squad.
“They concluded that the club will not be able to fulfil their fixture this weekend as a result of an insufficient number of players available to play due to Covid-19 cases and injuries.
“The Board this morning was able to make its decision in advance of Boxing Day to give clarity to clubs and their fans. We apologise for the inconvenience and disruption caused to those supporters’ festive plans.”
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It added: “The League is aware that the decisions this week to postpone three matches on Boxing Day will disappoint supporters, and understands their frustrations at a special time of year when fans look forward to attending and watching football games.
“The League aims to provide as much clarity as possible, but unfortunately postponements sometimes have to be made at short notice, as safety is our priority. Where possible, the League will endeavour to keep supporters updated if games become at risk on a matchday.”
Benitez had blasted the Premier League on Thursday after Everton initially had a request to cancel the Boxing Day clash.
The Goodison Park boss declared: “We have six injuries and five players with Covid. I think it is not fair.”
The Toffees discovered they had infections in their squad after this week’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Benitez revealed: “On the day of that game we did lateral flow tests, no positives.
“Then we did post-match PCR tests and we had first four cases, then five.
“Burnley is totally different than Chelsea. The reality is that we have to deal with a difficult situation.
“We have to wait until tomorrow, the day after, for injuries and Covid and see which players are available.
“I have to try to prepare a team to play Burnley but it is quite dangerous for us.
“We have to play players who are not ready or have knocks – or in the wrong position.”
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