Aston Villa’s FA Cup third round clash with Liverpool is ON and they will field Under-23 and Under-18 players who have returned negative Covid tests, with ENTIRE first-team squad in isolation
- Aston Villa’s FA Cup clash with Liverpool will go ahead on Friday as scheduled
- There had been doubts over the fixture after a Covid outbreak in the Villa squad
- The entire first-team along with manager Dean Smith have been told to isolate
- However, players from the Under 18s and Under 23s are set to step in
Aston Villa’s FA Cup third round tie against Liverpool will go ahead on Friday evening after the Villans’ makeshift squad all returned negative coronavirus tests.
The clash had been thrown into serious doubt after the club’s entire first team bubble – including manager Dean Smith and his staff – were forced into isolation after a ‘large number’ of cases were reported.
That left the Premier League outfit scrambling to put a team together, with a group of Under-23 and Under-18 players assembled to take on Jurgen Klopp’s champions.
Aston Villa will be able to field a team made up of youth players for their FA Cup tie on Friday
Friday night’s third round clash between Villa and Liverpool will go ahead as scheduled
Villa’s first-team bubble are currently isolating after an outbreak of Covid cases at the club
Each member of the hastily assembled squad, which will be led by Under 23s boss Mark Delaney at Villa Park, was tested for the virus on Thursday, with results fast-tracked on Friday morning.
And the match, due to be televised on BT Sports, has now been given the green light following those results, which all came back negative, with Villa confirming the news on Twitter on Friday morning.
By playing the tie rather than pushing for a postponement, Villa are compromising their chances of progress. But the FA had made clear early on that any club who could muster 14 players would be expected to play their game or forfeit the tie — and there is little space left in the calendar to rearrange matches.
Aston Villa confirmed the game will be going ahead on Friday night via their Twitter account
Dean Smith, his staff, and first-team players are all isolating after an outbreak at the club
Jurgen Klopp will bring his Liverpool team to Villa Park on Friday after the tie got the go-ahead
However, Villa’s Premier League game against Tottenham, scheduled for January 13, is still in serious doubt and they are due to face Everton three days later.
Villa’s tie with Liverpool is one of four affected by the virus this weekend, with one tie already postponed, and another still in serious doubt.
Southampton’s clash with Shrewsbury has been postponed after an outbreak at the League One club, with the FA to decide next week whether the match is to be rearranged or the Premier League side given a bye to the fourth round.
Brentford’s clash with Middlesbrough is also in doubt following an outbreak at the North East side’s Rockcliffe training base.
Meanwhile, Derby County have been forced to field youth players for their clash with Chorley, with Wayne Rooney and his side currently self-isolating after a number of positive tests at the Championship club.
When Villa faced Liverpool in the Carabao Cup last season, the champions used a team of fringe and Under 23 players because the first-team squad and manager Jurgen Klopp were in Qatar competing in the World Club Cup. Villa won 5-0.
Oldham have switched on Saturday’s home tie against Bournemouth to the Vitality Stadium because of the bad weather forecast in the north.
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