Premier League: Covid-19 outbreaks mean four more of weekend’s games called off

Brentford boss Frank calls for Premier League postponements

Half of the weekend’s Premier League fixtures are now off after four more games were postponed because of Covid-19 outbreaks.

The latest games affected are Southampton v Brentford, Watford v Crystal Palace, West Ham v Norwich and Everton v Leicester.

Earlier on Thursday, Manchester United’s match with Brighton on Saturday was called off, along with Leicester City’s game with Tottenham on Thursday, which is part of the league’s midweek programme.

On Wednesday Brentford boss Thomas Frank called for this weekend’s top-flight fixtures to be postponed to let clubs deal with the outbreaks but the Premier League is so far resisting that.

“All other fixtures due to be played this weekend are currently scheduled to proceed as planned,” it said in a statement.

Liverpool players Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Virgil van Dijk will also miss Thursday’s match with Newcastle after suspected positive tests, although manager Jurgen Klopp said that the club did not ask for a postponement.

“Honestly, I think at one point we have to make clear what exactly the rules are, but of course with three players out and this squad we wouldn’t have asked to not play a football game,” he told BT Sport.

Thursday’s other match between Chelsea and Everton is set to go ahead despite four of the London side’s players testing positive – Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and the injured Ben Chilwell.

A total of nine top-flight matches have been cancelled over the past week, the others being Tottenham’s match against Brighton last Sunday, Brentford’s game with Manchester United on Tuesday and Burnley’s match against Watford on Wednesday.

The Premier League said there was “an increase in positive Covid-19 cases” at Leicester on Thursday, while Manchester United have an ongoing outbreak.

United said they would also suspend training at their Carrington base for “a short period to help reduce risk of further transmission”.

The club added in a statement: “The health of players and staff is our priority. Given the number of players and support staff having to isolate due to Covid-19, the club had no option other than to request the match be…

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