Soccer

Covid-stricken Aston Villa facing Everton postponement despite delay to Sunday

Aston Villa ’s Premier League clash with Everton is likely to be postponed in another setback for Dean Smith’s side.

A Covid-19 outbreak within their camp meant Under-23s and Under-18s players had to be fielded against Liverpool in the FA Cup on Friday.

The tight fixture schedule this season meant that game could not be rearranged, but the Premier League are continuing to call games off depending on individual cases with clubs.

Villa closed their Bodymoor Heath training ground, and it remains closed.

The significant outbreak at Villa is proving tough to find a quick fix for, and attention is turning to the likelihood of Sunday’s match with Everton going ahead.

As things stand, the Mirror say it is more likely than not that the fixture will not take place this weekend.

Villa were initially scheduled to host Everton at 5.30pm on Saturday, but that was pushed back to Sunday at 12pm so that Fulham vs Chelsea could be moved from Friday night to the following evening.

The reshuffle of fixtures at short notice could have benefited Villa, but it now looks as though it will make little difference.

The club previously confirmed nine players and five staff tested positive last week and were self-isolating.

Villa CEO Christian Purslow then described the situation as a “very nasty out-of-control coronavirus outbreak” before their 4-1 FA Cup loss to Liverpool.

While their exit from the FA Cup could help free up some slots in the calendar, they are already behind on games played compared to most teams.

Villa have played 15 Premier League matches to date, while Arsenal are playing their 18th on Thursday.

Smith’s high-flying team are due to travel to Manchester City next Wednesday, and that should give them enough time amid their Covid issues.

Everton, meanwhile, are playing Wolves at Molineux this evening.

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