The Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Everton on Sunday is about to be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Villans camp.
Dean Smith’s side were forced to field an entire squad of young debutants for their FA Cup clash with Liverpool on Friday night after a number of positive tests within the first team forced the club to shut down its Bodymoor Heath training ground.
Nine first team players and five staff have tested positive, and the first team is currently self-isolating. As a result, Wednesday’s scheduled Premier League clash with Tottenham has been postponed.
Villa are due to play Everton on Sunday for the matchday’s kick-off at noon, but according to Athletic this will be postponed – subject to the approval of the Premier League board on Thursday.
Guidelines from Public Health England state that those who have tested positive for COVID and those who have come in contact with anyone who has tested positive must self-isolate for 10 days – meaning the Villa team Villa can be released from solitary confinement no earlier than Sunday January 17 – the day of the Everton clash.
Premier League teams are allowed to postpone a match if they cannot name a team of at least 14 due to COVID.
Villa chose to field a squad made up entirely of U23 and U18 players in their FA Cup fixture with Liverpool, and their young side faced the Premier League champions for the first hour before to eventually slide to 4-1 loss.
It will be the second high-profile game Everton has postponed, after the December visit to Manchester City was called off at the last minute due to a number of positive tests at the city camp.
Villa’s women’s team also postponed two WSL matches in October following an outbreak in their squad.