A traditional key moment of the English football championship, Boxing Day is not a celebration this year, as Great Britain and Premier League clubs face a flood of positive cases from the Omicron version: there were three matches on the schedule for this Sunday, 26 December. to be postponed.
If, last year, a large section of English fans had to resolve to follow the days after Christmas at home because of cameras, it is the players who are missing. Nearly a hundred positive cases were identified within the workforce and management of elite clubs last week, while the United Kingdom recorded a record number of Covid-19 contaminations.
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A total of thirteen games have been postponed in recent weeks, including three games initially scheduled for 26 December on the occasion of Boxing Day (Premier League Matchday 19): Liverpool-Leeds, Wolverhampton-Watford and Burnley-Everton. A dilemma already arises. How to slip late matches into an already very dense schedule, in which English clubs will play every day, except 31 December, until 3 January?
the league cup in question
On Thursday, discussions took place between the Premier League, club coaches and players through videoconferencing. But the institution has faced sporting and financial challenges that is Boxing Day, no temporary suspension has been decided from the championship. Nothing more than the return of cameras or gauges, as is the case in Wales and Scotland.
“There’s a wall in front of you, you can talk and ask what you want, but all the decisions were already made,” Tottenham coach Antonio Conte, whose team, particularly affected by Covid, said. He has to play three games.
Along with his Liverpool counterpart, Jurgen Klopp, he had on Thursday requested to reduce one match of the semi-finals of the League Cup Chelsea-Tottenham and Arsenal-Liverpool, as was the case. global pandemic.
Manchester United coach Ralph Rangnick has even called for the competition to be scrapped outright. His team, ranked sixth in the Premier League, have postponed two of their games this month and have not played since December 11. He should now expect an accumulation of meetings, starting with his trip to Newcastle on Monday, the final in the championship.
a blow on January 1st
Leader Manchester City, who remain on the ride with the Magpies (4-0), receive Sunday Leicester (9th), following a card against Leeds (7-0). Pep Guardiola’s players are three points ahead of Liverpool, who have therefore seen their game against Leeds postponed and will play their next meeting in Leicester on Tuesday.
Chelsea (3rd), Arsenal (4th) and Tottenham (seventh) will play on Sunday, four days after qualifying for the semi-finals of the League Cup. The Blues move to Aston Villa (10th), while the Gunners have a priority less complicated journey into Red Lantern Norwich. Tottenham (7th) coached by Patrick Vieira receives Crystal Palace (11th).
We will have to wait until early 2022 to see a setback in the top table at Arsenal-Manchester City on January 1 and Chelsea-Liverpool the next day. Until Covid disrupts the celebration a little more.
This Sunday at 4 pm: Manchester City-Leicester City, Norwich City-Arsenal, Tottenham-Crystal Palace, West Ham-Southampton. an 18h30: Aston Villa-Chelsea. a 21h: Brighton-Brentford. Monday night at 9: Newcastle-Manchester United.
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