Aston Villa ask Premier League to postpone game with Everton
Villa want a second successive league fixture postponing
Aston Villa have requested that their Premier League game against Everton, scheduled to take place this Sunday, is postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak at the club.
Villa were forced to field a team of youngsters in their FA Cup third round defeat to Liverpool at the weekend and have already seen Wednesday's league meeting with Tottenham postponed as nine players and five members of staff returned positive tests week.
A decision on whether to delay their game with Everton is expected to be made at some point on Wednesday with The Times reporting a Premier League panel will meet to discuss the matter. If it is delayed until later in the season, it will be the second time in a matter of weeks that Everton have been forced to postpone a fixture after their game at home to Manchester City was called off at short-notice.
Villa have explained to the Premier League that they are still unable to access their Bodymoor Heath training facilities and believe it is likely they will only return after the weekend. This, they say, makes it impossible to prepare for the game with Carlo Ancelotti's side.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters wrote to all Premier League clubs earlier in the week, making clear that rearranged fixtures would continue to be made at relatively short notice. This followed the news that Fulham were given 48 hours' notice that their game with Tottenham, postponed last month, would be played on Wednesday.
'We must do all we can to efficiently utilise all available calendar slots, given there have been three significant Covid-19 outbreaks at clubs to date and we should therefore realistically plan for the fact that there may be more,' Masters wrote.
'Inevitably, requests for postponements will be at short notice and present difficulties for all parties and we appreciate clubs’ ongoing flexibility.'