Four matches in the Premier League scheduled for this weekend have been postponed after a host of clubs suffered Covid-19 outbreaks.
It follows the news that Manchester United’s clash with Brighton & Hove Albion was called off on Thursday.
Southampton against Brentford, Watford versus Crystal Palace, Norwich’s game at West Ham United and Everton’s encounter with Leicester City have all been called off.
The Premier League announced earlier today that it intended to continue with the current season despite calls for a firebreak.
But in a statement, the league was forced to explain the four further postponements, mostly relating to an insufficient amount of players.
“The Board has agreed to postpone the matches after assessing individual club requests this evening,” it began.
“Brentford FC have an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. This has resulted in their training ground being closed which means they are unable to prepare for Saturday’s match.
“Watford FC also continue to have an ongoing outbreak, resulting in their training ground being closed, and have an insufficient number of players available to fulfil their match.
“Norwich City FC have an insufficient number of players available to fulfil their match due to COVID-19, injuries and other illnesses.
“Leicester City FC have a COVID-19 outbreak within the squad which has left the club with an insufficient number of players available to fulfil the match. The club’s first-team training ground was closed this morning to help contain the outbreak.
“The Board assesses applications to postpone matches on a case-by-case basis, based on existing rules and COVID-19 postponement guidance issued to all clubs.
EPL: I don’t play in my preferred positions – Pulisic becomes latest Chelsea player to hit at Tuchel
Christian Pulisic has become the latest Chelsea player to open up on his struggles at the club.
According to the 23-year-old, he does not get to play in the positions he really wants to.
Pulisic is yet to nail down a regular starting place at Stamford Bridge under Thomas Tuchel.
The American winger also struggled with injuries since his arrival at the club in 2019.
Pulisic is currently away on international duty, ahead of a 2022 World Cup qualifying triple-header starting against El Salvador on Friday.
He told NBC Sports: “When I come to the national team it is “How are things with Chelsea?” and ‘What’s this” and “What’s that.” It’s tough.
“Mentally it has played on me at times but I am always very excited to be on the national team and get to enjoy playing with these guys and just enjoy football in general.
“It is tough. I haven’t always been playing in the positions I want to play in. But I think it is a good quality to be versatile and able to play in all kinds of positions and have different strengths on the pitch.”
Pulisic was an unused substitute in Chelsea’s last two league fixtures, after playing in six games straight over the festive period in a variety of positions.
His comments after Romelu Lukaku criticized Tuchel’s methods and admitted he was unhappy at Stamford Bridge.
Egypt eliminate Ivory Coast from AFCON after penalty shoot-out
Seven-time African champions, Egypt, have eliminated Ivory Coast at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon on Wednesday.
Egypt beat Ivory Coast 5-4 on penalties to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament following an enthralling 0-0 draw.
The North Africans got the upper hand in the shoot-out when substitute goalkeeper Gabaski saved Eric Bailly’s effort in the third round of spot kicks.
Egypt’s captain, Mohamed Salah, netted the decisive penalty to send them to the last eight.
Egypt will face their North African neighbours, Morocco, in the quarter finals in Yaounde on Sunday by 5:00pm.
Newcastle agree £30m for Lyon midfielder, Guimaraes
Newcastle have agreed a fee with Lyon in the region of £30m to sign midfielder Bruno Guimaraes and are also targeting a deal to sign Brighton defender Dan Burn.
It is understood Brazil international Guimaraes will undergo a medical in his homeland on Wednesday.
A statement said, “Olympique Lyonnais categorically denies the false information disseminated by many media reporting an agreement between Newcastle and OL for the transfer of Brazilian international midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.
“In this transfer window period where the slightest rumour is often presented as reality, Olympique Lyonnais reminds that only information officially released by the club is to be taken into consideration.”
It is not the first time Lyon issued such denial over a transfer. In 2019, the club denied they had agreed to sell Ferland Mendy to Real Madrid. Eight days later, the left-back completed a move to the Bernabeu.
The Mapgies have wanted to sign a left-footed centre-back all window to partner Jamaal Lascelles
But they have so far failed in their attempts to sign Sven Botman, Diego Carlos and Benoit Badiashile.
Burn – a boyhood Newcastle fan born in nearby Blyth – is now a top target with less than seven days left of the window.
The 29-year-old has entered the final 18 months of his Brighton contract. The 6ft 7in defender, who joined Brighton from Wigan in 2018, can also play left-back.
Arsenal were among a number of clubs interested in signing Guimaraes, who has also been watched closely by Manchester United and PSG, but Eddie Howe’s side look to be closing in on the 24-year-old’s signature.
Guimaraes has made 25 appearances in all competitions for Lyon this season, registering six assists. He has three caps for the Brazil national team.
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