Leeds, Wolves COVID outbreaks lead to more EPL postponements

Sports from the AP

Crystal Palace’s head coach Patrick Vieira leaves the field at halftime during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

LONDON (AP) — Leeds and Wolverhampton have secured Premier League approval for further matches to be postponed due to coronavirus outbreaks in squads.

Leeds’ home game against Aston Villa on Tuesday has been called off, having already had Sunday’s match at Liverpool postponed.

Wolverhampton also won’t now play at Arsenal on Tuesday, with Wolverhampton having already been prevented from hosting Watford on Sunday due to a lack of Watford players.

The Premier League has now called off 15 matches because of coronavirus issues in 2 1/2 weeks, with players having to isolate after testing positive or if they are unvaccinated and a close contact of a COVID-19 case.

But Crystal Palace had its request rejected for Sunday’s game at Tottenham to be postponed. The league will have considered that Palace had enough players to fulfill the fixture which the south London club lost 3-0.

Palace was without manager Patrick Vieira who has started self-isolating for at least a week after contracting COVID-19.

The game at Tottenham is one of six Premier League fixtures on the Boxing Day program. Aston Villa announced Saturday that manager Steven Gerrard had tested positive for the coronavirus so he was absent from the game against Chelsea.

Three matches were postponed due to coronavirus infections across squads: Burnley vs. Everton, Liverpool vs. Leeds and Wolverhampton vs. Watford.

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