English Premier League 2021/22 Season Discussion - Page 3


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  1. #161
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    Watford just scored against ManU..

    Big 60 minutes coming up for Ole I reckon.

  2. #162
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    Watford 2 Manu 0
    42 minutes gone

  3. #163
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  4. #164
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    Joao Cancelo's stunning assist and a rocket from Rodri inspired Manchester City to a routine 3-0 victory over Everton and up to second place in the Premier League.

    City broke 44 minutes of Everton resistance when Cancelo's out-of-this-world assist was half-volleyed home by Raheem Sterling - his first league goal since August.

    Rodri doubled City's advantage with a thunderbolt 10 minutes into the second half before Bernardo Silva's late third put the seal on a Sunday afternoon stroll for Pep Guardiola's side, who moved to within three points of league leaders Chelsea.

    For Everton, their campaign will not be judged on visits to the Etihad Stadium but their alarming slump of one Premier League win in eight, and no wins and two points from their last six, needs arresting to lift the mounting pressure on manager Rafa Benitez.

    With Chelsea and Liverpool both claiming victories this weekend, it was imperative the champions kept their side of the bargain in the title race. They were utterly dominant for swathes of the first half but found Everton a tough nut to crack.

    That early breakthrough eluded City in increasingly agonising circumstances. Cole Palmer, on his first Premier League start, failed to turn the ball home after a deflected Cancelo shot fell for him in the area before Phil Foden steered a header wide after brilliantly contorting his body to get on the end of Sterling's cross.


    Team news

    Man City handed a first Premier League start to youngster Cole Palmer as the champions made three changes from the derby win at Man Utd. Aymeric Laporte and Raheem Sterling also returned, as Kevin De Bruyne (coronavirus), Ruben Dias and Gabriel Jesus made way.

    Everton were unchanged from their goalless draw with Tottenham before the international break.
    Demarai Gray, Everton's brightest attacking prospect, was forced off injured after just 16 minutes, with Alex Iwobi coming on in his place, and Everton's attacking threat diminished significantly as City seized the invitation to turn up the pressure.

    A flurry of chances leading up to the half-hour passed City by, as Sterling headed over from Foden's cross, Ilkay Gundogan clipped the top of the bar with a header of his own after Jordan Pickford had smothered Bernardo Silva's chipped shot before Palmer's shot on the swivel drew a save at full stretch from the Everton stopper.

    City were awarded a penalty soon after when Sterling went to ground under the challenge of Michael Keane, but referee Stuart Atwell overturned his decision after being instructed to consult the pitchside monitor by the VAR.

    But City didn't have to wait much longer for the breakthrough, and when it came, it was worth the wait. Cancelo's sumptuous pass with the outside of his right boot unpicked the Everton defence and was dispatched with aplomb by Sterling, whose half-volley flashed past a helpless Pickford.

    After Keane escape punishment again for another challenge in the area on Bernardo Silva, City needed just 10 second-half minutes to double their lead and effectively put the game out of reach as Rodri's 25-yard thunderbolt swung away from the diving Pickford and into the top corner of the Everton net.

    With an eye on Wednesday's crunch Champions League clash with PSG, Foden was withdrawn and his replacement, Riyad Mahrez, almost produced an instant impact but dragged a shot wide of the near post.

    With nothing to lose, Everton threw caution to the wind as the game progressed and enjoyed fleeting forays into the final third but never possessed the attacking quality to concern champions.

    After Sterling should have added a third only to see his attempt from Palmer's square pass was smothered by Pickford, it was left for Bernardo Silva to put the game to bed four minutes from time when he turned home Palmer's blocked shot.

    SKY


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  5. #165
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    FULL-TIME

    Tottenham 2-1 Leeds


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  6. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    FULL-TIME

    Tottenham 2-1 Leeds
    We bossed the first half to the extent that Spurts were booed off at half time...

    They woke up in the second half, and the rest is a looming relegation battle.


  7. #167
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    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  8. #168
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  9. #169
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    Full Time: Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle.

    Arsenal eventually broke Newcastle United down to leave Eddie Howe's side bottom of the Premier League without a win.

    Howe, in the Magpies dugout for the first time after missing last weekend's 3-3 draw with Brentford because of Covid, set up a team to try to contain Arsenal and eke out a point.

    It appeared as if the strategy might be working until Bukayo Saka slotted home from Nuno Tavares' through ball in the second half.

    Saka went off injured and his replacement Gabriel Martinelli scored with his second touch, a wonderful volley from Takehiro Tomiyasu's clipped pass over the top.

    Both sides had hit the woodwork in an otherwise uninspiring first half.

    Jonjo Shelvey's long-range drive was tipped on to the bar by the diving Aaron Ramsdale - and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit a sitter off the post from six yards out.

    Arsenal remain fifth in the Premier League, while Newcastle are five points adrift of safety with just over a third of the season gone.

    Source: BBC.

  10. #170
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    Full time scores:

    Liverpool 4 Southampton 0

    Crystal Palace 1 Aston Villa 2

    Norwich 0 Wolves 0

  11. #171
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    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  12. #172
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    PL update: SUNDAY 28TH NOVEMBER 2021

    Brentford 1-0 Everton: HT

    Burnley P-P Tottenham: Match postponed due to Weather

    Leicester 3-1 Watford: HT

    Man City 1-0 West Ham: HT

    Chelsea v Man Utd: 16:30 kick off.

  13. #173
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    PL update: SUNDAY 28TH NOVEMBER 2021

    Brentford 1-0 Everton: FT

    Burnley P-P Tottenham: Match postponed due to heavy snowstorm

    Leicester 4-2 Watford: FT

    Man City 2-1 West Ham: FT

    Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd: HT

  14. #174
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  15. #175
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    Premier League full midweek matchday, commencing 30/11/21:

    30 Nov
    Newcastle United v Norwich City 19:30
    Leeds United v Crystal Palace 20:15

    1 Dec
    Southampton v Leicester City 19:30
    Watford v Chelsea 19:30
    West Ham United v Brighton 19:30
    Wolves v Burnley 19:30
    Aston Villa v Man City 20:15
    Everton v Liverpool 20:15

    2 Dec
    Tottenham v Brentford 19:30
    Man United v Arsenal 20:15

    All matches to be televised live on Amazon Prime.

  16. #176
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  17. #177
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    Huge win for Leeds. Massive result.

    And conversely, a score draw for both Newcastle and Norwich does not really help either team.

    Looking forward to watching tonight’s fixtures via the excellent Amazon Prime coverage — the Merseyside Derby in particular, & also Villa-City.

  18. #178
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  19. #179
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    Salah on the double again as Liverpool again score four in the derby. Bit of a scare when they made it 1-2....was feeling jittery for a while chewing a few nails. After that the boys appeared reassured then Salah scores another putting the result beyond doubt. Bit of a concern when Mane and Salah are missing for a few weeks due to the meaningless AFCON.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  20. #180
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  21. #181
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    Updated table:

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    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  22. #182
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    West Ham 3-2 Chelsea (!) — BBC.

    Arthur Masuaku scored a bizarre late winner as top-four hopefuls West Ham twice came from behind to beat Premier League leaders Chelsea in a pulsating encounter at London Stadium.

    After collecting the ball wide on the left, Masuaku arrowed a cross-cum-shot past Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy at his near post to send the Hammers supporters into ecstasy.

    Thiago Silva broke the deadlock for Chelsea in the first half, heading Mason Mount's corner past Lukasz Fabianski via the inside of the post.

    West Ham were gifted a chance to equalise when Edouard Mendy brought down Jarrod Bowen following a poor backpass from Jorginho, allowing Manuel Lanzini to stroke home from the penalty spot.

    Bowen's low drive from the edge of the area restored parity once more before Masuaku's remarkable 87th-minute winner.

    The win consolidates West Ham's place in the top four, while Chelsea will drop to third if Manchester City and Liverpool win this weekend.

  23. #183
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    Wolves v Liverpool (15:00 GMT)
    This game is now Liverpool's chance to go top of the Premier League table.

    Manchester City will end the day top if they beat Watford at 17:30 GMT though.

  24. #184
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    Half time scores 4/12/21:

    Newcastle 1-0 Burnley
    Southampton 1-0 Brighton
    Wolves 0-0 Liverpool

    Watford v Man City 17:30PM start.

  25. #185
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  26. #186
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    Always knew Liverpool would score so confident am I in our forward line. Firstly I i am amazed how Jota missed a sitter. All he had to do was slide it low to the side instead he hits it straight to their lad on the chest We were not at our best today yet still winning shows the belief JK has instilled in the team. Then big Dov comes on turns their defender inside out then smashing it past their keeper with seconds remaining With Chelsea losing we move to second only a point behind City with all to play for.

    On another note i am hoping we sign Adama Troare coz the boy is a beast with pace to burn. As reported if Wolves are willing to let him go for £20 million then JK must be in for him in January. In the Liverpool coach he has the perfect man to make him better thereby reigniting the passion beneath him again. Today thanks to our defenders pulling him down repeatedly he didn't cause any damage

    The league is a three horse race. Hold on to you hats folks coz December is gonna be one helluva ride!
    Last edited by PakLFC; 5th December 2021 at 01:35.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  27. #187
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  28. #188
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    Full-time scores 5/12/21:

    Leeds 2-2 Brentford
    Tottenham 3-0 Norwich
    Manchester United 1-0 Crystal Palace

  29. #189
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  30. #190
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    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  31. #191
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    The Premier League have officially confirmed that Brighton vs Tottenham has been called off following an outbreak of coronavirus at the London club.


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  32. #192
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    My fear is the the Football during the holiday period could greatly be effected by this new Covid virus.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  33. #193
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    This week’s fixtures:

    Friday 10/12
    Brentford v Watford 20:00

    Saturday 11/12
    Man City v Wolves 12:30
    Arsenal v Soton 15:00
    Chelsea v Leeds 15:00
    Liverpool v Villa 15:00
    Norwich v Man Utd 17:30

    Sunday 12/12
    Brighton v Tottenham PP
    Burnley v West Ham 14:00
    Leicester v Newcastle 14:00
    Palace v Everton 16:30

  34. #194
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    Brentford 2 Watford 1

    Watford look like a team destined to return to the Championship.



  35. #195
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    Raheem Sterling scored his 100th Premier League goal as Manchester City beat 10-man Wolves 1-0 following Raul Jimenez's foolish first-half red card.

    At the end of a sleepy opening half, Jimenez inexplicably saw red for two yellow cards in the space of just 31 seconds, first for a foul on halfway and then for attempting to block the resulting free-kick.


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  36. #196
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  37. #197
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    Leeds came very very close to getting something out of their game away to Chelsea. They did far better than I expected (as a Leeds fan).

  38. #198
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  39. #199
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    Thought Villa were denied a penalty when our keep bought down their lad late in the match. Returning to his spiritual club Stevie G rightfully got a rousing ovation by the fans. Had it not been for poor finishing we would have won the match by a much greater margin. The fear I have is when Mane and Salah head off the the AFCON spelling much difficulty for us. Origi, Jota and if fit Firmino will really need to turn up for us during their absence.

    Routine albeit close wins for the other two challengers as well.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  40. #200
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    The last minute penalty decision for Chelsea was a bit soft tbh. Leeds very unlucky not to get that bonus point out of what originally looked like a guaranteed lose fixture.

  41. #201
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    HT:

    Burnley 0-0 West Ham
    Leicester 1-0 Newcastle


    Palace v Everton is today’s late 16:30 kick off.

    Brighton v Tottenham postponed to a later date due to positive Covid tests.

  42. #202
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    2-0 Leicester now.

    Looks like another tough day for NUFC.

  43. #203
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    Finished 4-0 Leicester, takes some pressure off Brendan Rodgers after a run of bad results.

  44. #204
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  45. #205
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  46. #206
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    Looks like this could be one of the best Premier League title races in years.

    3 teams who look like they will push each other, all the way.



  47. #207
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    I think it will be between Liverpool and City. They both seem to have a bit more in the tank than Chelsea, slightly better squads, and are more capable of grinding out results.

  48. #208
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    https://www.skysports.com/football/n...id-covid-cases

    Manchester United are in discussions with the Premier League over postponing their fixture away to Brentford on Tuesday evening after being forced to shut down their training complex due to positive Covid cases.

    United said on Sunday that a "small number" of individuals among the first-team players and staff had returned positive lateral flow tests.

    Those positive cases have now been confirmed by positive PCR tests, resulting in United shutting down their Carrington training complex for 24 hours "to minimise risk of any further infection".

    In a statement on Monday afternoon, United added: "The club is in discussion with the Premier League whether it is safe for Tuesday's fixture against Brentford to continue, both from a Covid infection and player preparation perspective.

    "Team and staff travel to London will be deferred pending the result of that discussion."

    The positive Covid cases were first recorded at training on Sunday, where United's players were undergoing recovery sessions following Saturday's 1-0 win at Norwich.

    Negative tests had been returned before the game at Carrow Road.

    Following the positive cases, training was adjusted on Sunday to individual and non-contact outdoor sessions for those who returned negative tests.

    Speaking earlier on Monday, Thomas Frank, the Brentford boss, said he was continuing to prepare his side for the visit of United amid the uncertainty.

    "We are planning to play the game," Frank said. "That's what we are focusing on. We can't control anything else.

    "I think it needs to be a significant amount of Covid cases before the game can be cancelled but to be fair I'm a little bit in doubt when it is enough."

    Tottenham had their games against Rennes and Brighton postponed last week after eight players and five staff members tested positive, forcing the closure of their training ground.

    There have also been cases reported at a number of other clubs, with fears that more are to come over the winter.

    "It's a very tricky situation," Frank said. "I think it's very important the Premier League and all of us are following normal society rules and restrictions. That's very important.

    "And then if we can make it very clear what the rules are to cancel a game, that would be good. But I think all that is just speculation and taking the focus away from what we all want and that is what's happening on the pitch."

    Brentford have been hit by Covid themselves, with striker Ivan Toney and defender Ethan Pinnock both missing games after testing positive.

    Toney is due out of isolation ahead of Tuesday's fixture and Frank said he was optimistic he could feature, but Pinnock is expected to miss out again.

    Aston Villa also have had one positive Covid-19 case in their playing squad, leading to a recovery session at the club's Bodymoor Heath training ground on Sunday being cancelled.

    Full training at Villa, who lost 1-0 at Liverpool on Saturday, is expected to resume on Monday.

    Further testing is to take place, while the club will also tighten their coronavirus protocols.

    Villa face Norwich, managed by their former boss Dean Smith, at Carrow Road in the Premier League on Tuesday.

    The government announced earlier this week fans will need to show proof of double vaccination or a negative test to attend sporting events with crowds of more than 10,000 people in England.

    The rules are due to come into effect from December 15 as part of Covid 'plan B' measures, to curb the spread of the Omicron variant.

    Brighton manager Graham Potter has revealed there are "three or four" positive tests among his playing squad, but their match with Wolves on Wednesday is not currently under threat.

    "We've got a combination of injuries and a bit of Covid ourselves," said Potter.

    "We've got three or four, I would say, at the moment. And obviously that's something we have to deal with, like everybody else.

    "Now we're just checking and making sure it's at that number."

    Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola has urged all his players and staff to get their Covid-19 booster vaccination as soon as they become eligible.

    He said: "Absolutely. The doctors suggest that they have to do it. Most of us have (had) it already.

    "The players, for their age, the moment they have to do it, everybody is going to decide and they are going to do it."

  49. #209
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    Sky Sports News

    BREAKING: The Premier League has announced 42 new positive coronavirus cases among club players and staff, the highest weekly figure recorded since the release of testing figures began in May last year

  50. #210
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    Manchester United's Premier League fixture away to Brentford has been postponed due to a Covid outbreak among the visitors' squad.


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  51. #211
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    Tonight's scores

    Norwich 0 Aston Villa 2

    Man City 7 Leeds 0



  52. #212
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    Burnley's Premier League match at home to Watford on Wednesday has been postponed because of an ongoing Covid outbreak within the visitors' squad.

    Burnley made the announcement on social media at 17:00 GMT, with the game scheduled to kick off at 19:30.

    The Premier League said Watford had "an insufficient number of first-team players available to fulfil the match".

    It added that the decision was taken "with regret" and apologised for "the inconvenience and disruption caused".

    A statement read: "The Premier League understands this decision will disappoint and frustrate fans who were due to attend this evening's game."



  53. #213
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  54. #214
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    Sky Sports: Thomas Frank calls for all PL fixtures this weekend to be postponed

    Brentford's clash with Manchester United on Tuesday was postponed due to a Covid outbreak at United.

    Frank wants to ensure the Boxing Day fixtures go ahead by calling for the weekend's full round of Premier League fixtures and next week's Carabao Cup matches to also be postponed.

    Brentford boss Thomas Frank wants this weekend's full round of Premier League fixtures postponed to "break the chain" on the current Covid crisis.

    Speaking ahead of his side's trip to Southampton on Saturday, Frank said he had been in touch with the Premier League, as well as other managers in the league who he said are in agreement.

    Brentford's clash with Manchester United on Tuesday was postponed due to a Covid outbreak in the United camp, and Frank feels drastic action is needed to ensure the problem does not get any worse.

    "We think we should postpone the full round of Premier League games this weekend," he said on Thursday morning.

    "Covid cases are going through the roof at all Premier League clubs, everyone is dealing with it and having problems.

    "To postpone this round and also the Carabao Cup round would give everyone a week at least, or four or five days to clean and do everything at the training ground so everything is clean and you break the chain."

    Frank believes a decision to halt this weekend's round of top-flight fixtures could be enough to sure the busy festive programme will be able to go ahead largely as planned.

    "We fully respect that we want to play and it is important football keeps going, and this way we can make sure Boxing Day keeps going, I'm 100 per cent sure of that," added Frank.

    "This Omicron variant is running like wildfire around the world and I think we need to do all we can to protect and avoid it. I think we can do a lot by closing down training grounds for three, four or five days, and then we can go again."

  55. #215
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    Leicester v Spurs has been postponed due to covid-19 outbreak.


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  56. #216
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    Man United vs Brighton has been postponed.

    The game was due to take place this Saturday at 12.30pm.


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  57. #217
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    Southampton v Brentford, Watford v Crystal Palace and West Ham United v Norwich City on Saturday, plus Sunday's game between Everton and Leicester have all been postponed


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  58. #218
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    I have a gut feeling Newcastle will pull off a miracle vs Liverpool today.

  59. #219
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    Well the miracle didn't last long! Newcastle and Liverpool level at 1-1

  60. #220
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    Tonight's results

    Chelsea 1 Everton 1

    Liverpool 3 Newcastle 1



  61. #221
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    Updated table.

    Too early to call it a 2 horse race?

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  62. #222
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    Chalk up another win for the Liverpool taking us one point behind the leaders Man City. Despite going 1-0 down to a fine Shelvey strike there was never any doubt in my mind that we'd win the match. As always Salah and Jota help themselves before Trent banged one in from a distance. Yes our first goal should have stood like it did. We rightfully played to the whistle.

    With Chelsea drawing at home we have opened up a three point gap between second and third. On a sour note VVD and Fabinho tested Covid positive missing the match like many players have done for other sides. I've a feeling the league is gonna be suspended again very soon.
    Last edited by PakLFC; 17th December 2021 at 02:52.


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  63. #223
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    Premier League clubs will meet on Monday to discuss the escalating crisis around the coronavirus pandemic.

    With nine games postponed over the past week, including five already from this weekend's 10-match fixture list, clubs want the chance to discuss the options.

    Brentford boss Thomas Frank led calls for all matches to be called off until 26 December to enable a reset.

    Some feel the break should be longer - but others such as Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp do not believe it should happen.

    The Premier League said on Thursday it intends to carry on playing matches as long as it is safe to do so.

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta: "The regulators will make the decision over whether a game is played or not but we all need to understand the reasons behind it.

    "We are going to have to find a way. We knew when we started the season this [Covid problems] could be a possibility and I am sure there was a Plan A, B and C. We need clarity."

    Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard: "We all want the same thing and want the game to continue. I don't have any concerns but I do have trust in the Premier League and the people who make the decisions.

    "In terms of being in my shoes I have to prepare the team as best I can. We have had some cases in the playing staff and have had some cases in the staff.

    "I'm hoping we have a good 24 hours or we could have a situation that grows and gets worse here."

    Newcastle boss Eddie Howe: "I think it's probably on a knife edge would be my verdict on it.

    "I think when you start losing players to Covid, I think then the worry for me is that the competition becomes slightly unfair. I don't think anyone wants to see that.

    "The biggest thing people want to see is a fair league. They don't want to see disparity in games and players missing.

    "We all want the product to continue, I'm desperate to continue the programme myself but I do think that the welfare of the players and supporters has to come first."

    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: "I'm not against stopping the league I just don't see the 100% benefit of it.

    "Stopping it means stopping now for one or two weeks, so five or six games. When do you want to play them?

    "Or we just play on. It is really difficult because step by step players will get infected."

    Wolves boss Bruno Lage: "My family are coming [to games], so I am concerned about that.

    "Sometimes we think about the professional life and forget about the other part. It is difficult to talk about Covid. We have to be aware it is not just about Covid but also the professional life."

    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel: "It is not in my hands but clarity and transparency is always good in every subject.

    "I know the rules now, I did not get involved too early. I read them and then immediately forgot them because there are so many of them."

    Meanwhile Manchester City cancelled Friday's news conference with manager Pep Guardiola to look ahead to his side's trip to Newcastle United.

    The City boss was due to speak to the media on Friday to preview Sunday's game.

    However, Guardiola returned an inconclusive coronavirus test and is now waiting for the results of a follow-up PCR test.

    Guardiola said on Monday that some staff members at City had tested positive but his side were able to play their Premier League game against Leeds on Tuesday, which they won 7-0.

    Manchester City's Women's Super League game with Reading, which was due to be played on Saturday, has also been postponed.

    The meeting on Monday will not purely be centred around matches being called off and whether there is to be a break or not. There are also issues around re-arranging the games that have already been postponed.

    There are concerns over player release for next month's African Cup of Nations and the January World Cup qualifiers that cover every continent other than Europe.

    The release of the Nations League fixtures by Uefa on Friday underlined the issues surrounding the crowded match calendar.

    England play their first game in Hungary on 4 June, one week after the Champions League final on 28 May, which itself is a week after the final round of Premier League fixtures on 22 May.

    With European matches, EFL Cup semi-finals, the FA Cup fifth round and replays for earlier rounds, there are only two completely clear midweeks until the end of the season.

    Those midweeks were supposed to be used for matches that had to be moved because teams had reached the latter stages of domestic cup competitions whose dates clashed with league games.

    With 18 fixtures in the English Football League postponed before the weekend, managers below the top flight have also been having their say.

    In a statement on Thursday, the EFL said a quarter of players at its member clubs "do not intend to get a vaccine" against Covid-19.

    Exeter City manager Matt Taylor told BBC Sport he would not be influencing any of his players to get vaccinated, stressing it was "their decision".

    "From my discussions with players who haven't had the vaccine, there's a lot of influences, and they're understandable," Taylor said.

    "Whether it be things in terms of enlarged organs, heart problems, respiratory problems, possible fertility issues, they've got a whole host of questions which come up and often remain unanswered.

    "Sometimes people think it's a straightforward decision as to whether you do or don't get the vaccine. But it's not as easy a decision because everyone's circumstances are totally different."

    Derby boss Wayne Rooney added: "It's a difficult situation because everyone has their own opinions on it.

    "I've had the vaccinations but some players, some staff, might have their own personal opinions on it," he told BBC Radio Derby.

    "I'd personally encourage it, we can see what's happening in terms of needing vaccinations to get into places, but also to stop it spreading and to make sure you're happy yourself and your family.

    "I'd encourage it but I can't make that decision for all the players and staff, unfortunately."

    What is the situation like in Europe?
    Spain

    More than 90% of La Liga players have been double vaccinated and stadiums are still allowed at full capacity.

    A club cannot cancel a game as long as there are 30 available players registered between the first and second team.

    The Spanish FA will announce a change to the protocol this Saturday, where players and staff will need "one antigen test a day and one PCR test every two weeks" according to Guillem Balague on the Euro Leagues podcast

    Multiple Real Madrid players tested positive for coronavirus after an outbreak at their facilities - including Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Marcelo.

    France

    In France, 95% of players have been double vaccinated and there are a low number of positive cases in Ligue 1.

    There will be a two-week winter break beginning on 22 December, during much of which players will be away from training -in contrast to England, where games are being played every few days.

    "The numbers of new positive cases in England are so high compared to the rest of Europe" said journalist Julien Laurens.

    "In France we haven't had to cross that bridge yet because we haven't been in that position."

    Germany

    In the Bundesliga, 94% of players have been double vaccinated. However, top-flight games are limited to 50% attendance and are not allowed to exceed 15,000 supporters to minimise the risk of infection.

    Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich tested positive for coronavirus in November after which he admitted he wished he had chosen to vaccinate earlier.

    BBC


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  64. #224
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    Aston Villa's Premier League game with Burnley has been called off just hours before kick-off.

    It's due to Covid cases in the Villa camp.

  65. #225
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    There are no plans to pause the English Football League because of Covid-19, says chairman Rick Parry.

    There have been 19 games postponed across the EFL this weekend because of a surge in cases.

    "If we think a circuit breaker will help we will do it but, at the moment, there's no scientific evidence to suggest that it will help," said Parry.

    "We've got to stick together, stay calm and keep making balanced decisions on the basis of the latest information."

    Six Premier League games from this weekend's 10-match fixture list have been called off and top flight clubs will meet on Monday to discuss the escalating crisis around the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Parry, speaking to BBC Football Focus, said it had been a "difficult week" following "a real escalation of cases over the last few days" and the priority was the "health and welfare of players, staff and spectators".

    "We wondered if a short sharp circuit breaker this weekend would help but, frankly, it wouldn't," added Parry.

    "There is no science to suggest it would help and, if you look at the geographical spread, there are areas where games can go ahead and where they can't.

    "There's talk of the government having a two-week lockdown after Christmas so maybe that will be taken out of our hands.

    "We are getting more information listening to the scientists, they need more data to try to work out exactly where we are going with this new strain. It is too early to tell.

    "Next week we might be in a different position."

    The English Football League has said a quarter of players at its member clubs "do not intend to get a vaccine" against Covid-19 and, as of last month, 31% of players had not received a first dose.

    "We've introduced new criteria for clubs, we've tightened them [Covid-19 protocols] a little," said Parry.

    "What we are basically saying is that if clubs have got a squad of 14 including a goalkeeper then games should go ahead.

    "Clearly, we are having to be very adaptable, we're consulting with clubs because this is escalating all the time. The rates of infection have gone up dramatically. They will no doubt go up dramatically again.

    "It really is a case of taking it one day at a time, trying to keep calm and balanced to do our best to get the season completed."

    BBC


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  66. #226
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    Covid!

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  67. #227
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    Leeds 1 Arsenal 4

  68. #228
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  69. #229
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    Today's games

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  70. #230
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  71. #231
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    One of the best games of the Premier League season so far:

    Spurs 2 Liverpool 2

    Brilliant match, end to end from start to finish.



  72. #232
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    That game was fantastic, an end of year treat.

  73. #233
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    A good day for Man City with both their nearest rivals only managing a point each.

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    Last edited by Saj; 19th December 2021 at 23:38.



  74. #234
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    Hopefully City will drop some points soon in the coming weeks. Away to Spurs is tougher then away to Wolves. For this reason Chelsea drawing will be more disappointed then Liverpool will be. Konate doing the business is proving to be another great buy from Jurgen miyan
    Last edited by PakLFC; 20th December 2021 at 01:07.


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  75. #235
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    The Premier League has decided against postponing a full round of fixtures amid Covid-19 outbreaks at several clubs.

    Six of this weekend's 10 Premier League matches were postponed on Thursday, but the league had maintained fixtures would continue "where safely possible".

    After a Premier League shareholders' meeting on Monday, the league has decided to continue as planned with the schedule, where possible.

    Meanwhile, the FA has scrapped third and fourth-round FA Cup replays this season to help reduce fixture congestion.

    Some Premier League sides felt they should carry on playing where possible because there is no guarantee the situation will improve if they stop, while others felt the integrity of the competition is being threatened and believed the next round of games should have been called off.

    Most Premier League clubs are due to play three times between Boxing Day and January 2 and, despite the decision to continue as planned, there are fears more games will be postponed because of rising Covid cases.

    There would then be an increased workload on players who are available to play in games that go ahead, and there is also a real fear among clubs they will soon have to go back to playing games without fans.

    Premier League managers and captains are also due to hold separate meetings.

    Jurgen Klopp says unvaccinated players are a 'constant threat' and explains what impact they have on how a club needs to operate
    The timing of decisions to call off some games so far has caused frustration, with Aston Villa's clash with Burnley called off just over two hours before kick-off on Saturday.

    Chelsea were unhappy a request to postpone Sunday's Premier League match at Wolves, which ended 0-0, was rejected despite their seven positive cases.

    Boss Thomas Tuchel said: "We were put in a huge risk of health and safety to the players, not just because of Covid but also physically. I'm not sure if I'll catch Covid. Hopefully, I will not catch it."

    The EFL has confirmed its schedule of games in the league and Carabao Cup will continue to be played "where it is safe to do so".

    EFL chief executive Trevor Birch said: "Throughout the pandemic, our two priorities have been ensuring the welfare of those involved in EFL competitions and ensuring the fixture schedule can continue where it is safe to do so.

    "We will continue to work with clubs, authorities and other agencies to monitor the Covid-19 case rate and be prepared to respond accordingly, yet for now the view remains that we can continue to deliver games safely where clubs have sufficient healthy personnel in place, on and off the pitch.

    "With club mitigation measures, the mass adoption of booster jabs and Covid certification now required for larger crowds, we are sure many fans will continue to feel confident in attending matches over the Christmas period and we look forward to welcoming them."

    There are four Carabao Cup quarter-final ties taking place in midweek.

    SKY


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  76. #236
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    Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson says he is "concerned" that "nobody really takes player welfare seriously".

    Including Sunday's 2-2 draw at Tottenham, the Reds will play five games within two weeks despite Covid-19 cases and injuries.

    Premier League clubs chose to fulfil festive fixtures at a meeting on Monday despite a rise in Covid-19 cases.

    "I don't think people can appreciate how intense it is until you actually see it first hand," said Henderson.

    Speaking to BBC Sport, he added: "Football to us is everything and we want to be able to perform at the highest level every time we set foot on the pitch. And unfortunately, in this period it is difficult to do that.

    "That has been like this for a few years now and it has been difficult but then, on top of that, you chuck in Covid and it becomes even harder and even worse.

    "I am concerned that nobody really takes player welfare seriously.

    "I think decisions get made - of course we want to play, as footballers we want to get out there and play - but I am worried about player welfare and I don't think anybody does take that seriously enough, especially in this period, when Covid is here.

    "We will try to have conversations in the background and try to have some sort of influence going forward, but at the minute I don't feel the players get the respect they deserve in terms of having somebody being able to speak for them independently and having the power to say actually this isn't right for player welfare."

    Which teams have the busiest Christmas schedule?

    On Tuesday, Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders said the schedule was "absurd" while Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said he is having to take "huge risks" with his players' fitness.

    Liverpool were missing a number of key players against Tottenham, with Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Thiago among those absent following positive Covid tests, while midfielder Henderson was out with a cold.

    Premier League players and club staff returned a record 90 positive Covid-19 tests last week, with six out of last weekend's 10 fixtures postponed.

    "We do speak about it as players because, at the end of the day, it affects us directly," said Henderson, who helped organise an initiative last year for Premier League players to generate funds for the NHS.

    "I know people will say we do get paid a lot of money to go out and play football. I get that and understand that, but football is everything to us.

    "And especially those players that are playing international games and European games, you get a maximum of probably two or three weeks off a year. I am not sure that is enough to physically recover and mentally recover from the season previous.

    "But again, there is no communication with players in terms of what they think, which is a big problem really.

    "I am not saying they have to make decisions on what players think, because everybody will have a different opinion, but I think they need to be part of a conversation because, ultimately, we are the ones that are going out and feeling it and playing it."

    On the back of Henderson's concerns, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes players need to be heard with "open ears".

    "I think we have to listen to them," said the Spaniard. "There are two protagonists here, one is the players and the other the supporters.

    "Without the players we can do nothing so we have to really listen to the players. It is easy for us to be there and demand, but they are the ones that have to perform.

    "The same with the fans because this industry wouldn't work without any of those two.

    "I think we have to listen much more to our players. We don't want to damage the product and the incredible league that we have."

    Aston Villa's match against Burnley was postponed on 18 December after the Midlands side had an "increased amount" of positive test results on the morning of the game.

    Villa boss Steven Gerrard's side host Chelsea on 26 December and he said he was unsure of "what position we're going to be in come the game" because the "Covid picture and the situation here at Villa" was "changing on a daily basis".

    "We had a situation at the weekend where one of the players was reluctant to get out of his car because he had some symptoms. He's got a young family and you can totally understand his view in his situation," added Gerrard.

    "Thankfully, he was tested after and he didn't have a situation but that player would not have been available for me on the day and these are the little situations that people don't see."

    Regarding Henderson's opinion that player welfare was not being taken seriously, Gerrard said: "I certainly respect that opinion.

    "I think there are two sides to this; player welfare from a Covid situation, that I think everyone in general life is trying to deal with, trying to protect themselves and their own families, but also from a football point of view to deal with this situation when you are going into a game on the 26 and 28 December.

    "You're also worried for a player's welfare from a football point of view. Trying to manage and deal with both situations is a challenge right now but one we'll try to do in the best way and protect the players in the best way we can."


    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/59750312


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  77. #237
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    Henderson is a very articulate and thoughtful chap.

  78. #238
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    Managers to meet Premier League - Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has said managers will meet with the Premier League on Thursday to discuss issues around the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Nine of the past 20 top-flight games have been postponed, but Premier League clubs decided on Monday to not make any changes to the festive schedule.

    Liverpool beat Leicester on penalties in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

    And Klopp said he would prefer the semi-final with Arsenal to be one game instead of two legs.

    "I think it would be better with one game absolutely, but obviously what I say is not too important," he said after making 10 changes for the quarter-final, with three academy players in his starting line-up and five on the bench.

    "If there are two games, then we will play two games. But it would be helpful if there was only one, true.

    "If the draw has us at Arsenal, I'm fine with that - we play there and see who is better and go for it."

    The Reds came back from 3-1 down against Leicester to draw 3-3 at Anfield, and then win 5-4 on penalties.

    As it stands, they will face Arsenal in the weeks beginning 3 and 10 January in a two-legged semi-final.

    Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson earlier told BBC Sport "nobody really takes player welfare seriously".

    "I don't just speak about player welfare this year, I have been speaking about it for six years or maybe longer," said Klopp.

    "If the things I say would help more, I would say it much more often. But it doesn't help.

    "The only thing I do with these messages is I create headlines. They never arrive at the right places.

    "Tomorrow we have a meeting at 4pm but it's with the Premier League and not with the EFL, I'm not sure if they are involved or not.

    "I said it before, I would prefer only one semi-final. But I can't see any kind of changes actually."

    Tottenham boss Antonio Conte, whose side beat West Ham 2-1 to set up a last-four tie with Chelsea, has similar views.

    "Maybe it would be better to play one game and not two games, especially for the situation we are living but we have to respect the rules," he said.

    Klopp also said he was not happy at having to play Premier League matches on 26 and 28 December, and did not know why the second game could not be played on 29 December instead.

    Meanwhile, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said he would like teams to be allowed to make five substitutions in the Premier League again.

    Football laws were changed during the first coronavirus lockdown in 2020 to allow teams to make five changes in each game instead of three.

    The Premier League was one of the only major leagues to go back to three at the end of the 2019-20 season.

    "If that was something we could do, we would definitely help the players," said Rodgers.

    "We don't have that deep squad. If we could go to five subs, we would certainly advocate that."

    Leicester were playing their first game in 10 days with their past two matches called off because of Covid.

    They lost Caglar Soyuncu and Ricardo Pereira to injury, with Carabao Cup rules allowing five subs.

    Lukaku back for Chelsea's festive programme?
    Chelsea had up to eight players missing because of Covid-19 and injury for their quarter-final with Brentford, with boss Thomas Tuchel giving debuts to teenagers Harvey Vale, Jude Soonsup-Bell and Xavier Simons.

    The Blues, who tried to have last weekend's Premier League game at Wolves called off, left it late to overcome their west London neighbours 2-0.

    But boss Thomas Tuchel hopes to have at least two players back for the 26 December game at Aston Villa.

    Forward Romelu Lukaku has not played since 11 December while fellow forward Callum Hudson-Odoi also missed Wednesday's game because of the virus.

    Asked about their chances of being available on Sunday, Tuchel said: "If I understand correctly, it will be a negative test first of all, I believe we had a negative test for Romelu and Callum."

    Brentford have also been hit hard by the virus.

    The match with Chelsea was their first since 10 December after league games with Manchester United and Southampton were postponed because of Covid-19.

    However, Bees boss Thomas Frank reported no fresh cases before the Chelsea tie and will hope his selection plans for Sunday's match at Brighton are not hit by another outbreak.

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/59764700

  79. #239
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    ❌ Liverpool vs Leeds and Wolves vs Watford in Premier League on Boxing Day postponed due to Covid-19 cases.



  80. #240
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    Antonio Conte says he felt as though Thursday's meeting with the Premier League was a 'waste of time'.

    Player welfare and fixture list congestion were among some of the big concerns of managers and coaches heading into a special meeting with the Premier League on Thursday.

    Asked how he felt it went, Tottenham head coach Conte said: "I have to be honest I think that it was a meeting where we tried to speak, and some coaches tried to speak and ask about solutions.

    "But I think that everything was decided. And I think yesterday was a wall, and for this reason also I don't want to go into the discussion."

    Pressed on whether he felt it was a waste of time, Conte said: "I think so. Because when you have a wall in front of you, you can ask and speak about what you want, but every decision was taken."

    Spurs had a Covid-19 outbreak at the club earlier this month which led to three games in all competitions being called off. Conte said he was worried about player fatigue if those who have recovered to play twice in three days.

    "It is not easy for us, it is not easy for all the teams to play after only one day, it's not simple. You have to manage the situation very well because of the risk of losing players to injuries," Conte added.

    "We have to pay great attention, especially my team. Don't forget we had half our squad (out) with Covid... When you get Covid, then you have to live with this situation for two to three weeks after you are finished with Covid.

    "If there is someone that has a bit of fatigue, it will be very important to have a good chat with the players because we have to manage this period."

    Conte said the players who were unavailable due to the recent outbreak are all now back in training ahead of the Boxing Day visit of Crystal Palace, with only Cristian Romero and Ryan Sessegnon currently sidelined.

    Following calls from managers for transparency over why some matches have been called off and some have not, the Premier League has published guidance to explain its protocols for postponing fixtures.

    Clubs have been told they must provide the following information when applying for a game to be postponed:

    Medical information to verify status of each unavailable player, which will be reviewed by the Premier League's medical advisers

    Pep Guardiola has raised the possibility of players striking over the congested fixture schedule, but does not think it is likely to happen.

    The Premier League will then consider the following factors when deciding whether to grant the request:

    Impact of Covid infections, injuries, illness and isolation on the squad, plus the number of first-team and 'appropriately experienced' U21 players available
    Matches will be postponed if a club does not have at least 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper available
    Status of any Covid outbreak at the club, including the number and source infections, and the proximity to the match
    Club's ability to safely prepare its players
    Medical advice over whether there is an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of players and staff by playing the match
    Advice from UK Health Securities Agency and other public bodies
    Other exceptional circumstances

    Dean Smith, the Norwich head coach, says it is "lunacy" to expect teams to play two games in 48 hours as clubs continue to be hit by coronavirus outbreaks.

    The Canaries' Premier League match at West Ham was called off last weekend because of the on-going Covid-19 issues, with just four of the scheduled 10 top-flight games able to be played as scheduled.

    Liverpool's clash with Leeds and Watford's trip to Wolves on Boxing Day have both been postponed.

    Norwich are set to host Arsenal on Sunday, and then play Crystal Palace on December 28. Smith, though, believes that is an unreasonable expectation.

    "We have some fresh cases, but we have got others coming back. We are not sure how many will miss Boxing Day," he said.

    "We are having to push rehab forward and people are breaking down in rehab because of that. It is asking massive questions of everybody's squads at the moment.

    "It is lunacy that we are having to play two games in 48 hours and there has got to be a question about the integrity of the competition when teams are playing weakened teams against other teams and it is affecting league positions."

    Smith had requested Norwich's previous game against his former club Aston Villa also be called off because of Covid-19 issues and injuries in the squad.

    The Norwich boss revealed he felt "it was bordering on negligible" for him having to field the likes of Sam Byram, who was rushed back into action following a lengthy injury lay-off when sent on as an emergency substitute during the 2-0 defeat.

    "I think we are in a dangerous situation now, where we are risking the health and welfare of the players," said Smith.

    SKY


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