Aston Villa clash with Burnley called OFF just hours before kick-off after Covid outbreak overnight in Gerrard's squad
ASTON VILLA'S match with Burnley today has been cancelled due to an overnight Covid outbreak in Steven Gerrard's squad.
The Villans were due to host the Clarets at Villa Park for a 3pm kick-off.
But an outbreak within the home side means the game was called off little more than two hours before it as due to kick off.
A club statement said: "Aston Villa can confirm that today’s Premier League fixture with Burnley has been postponed due to an increased amount of positive Covid-19 test results within our playing squad.
"The results of PCR tests, which were taken yesterday prior to training as well as Lateral Flow Tests, were received this morning and confirmed further depletion of our playing squad which was already impacted upon for our trip to Norwich in midweek.
"All individuals who tested positive are now isolating in line with Premier League and government guidance and protocols.
"The Club is extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused to Burnley Football Club, both our own supporters and the Burnley fans due to attend the fixture but have acted as swiftly as possible this morning to minimise disruption."
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It now means five of the six Premier League games scheduled for today have been axed.
Manchester United vs Brighton, Southampton vs Brentford, Watford vs Crystal Palace and West Ham vs Norwich are already off.
Leeds vs Arsenal, the evening kick-off, is the only one still going ahead, as things stand.
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Tomorrow, Everton's home clash with Leicester has already been scrapped.
The Premier League Board added: "After reviewing all the new information provided by Aston Villa this morning and receiving separate medical advice, the Board approved the request as a result of the club not having enough players to field a team.
"This decision was based on the number of Covid-19 cases, injuries and illness.
"The League understands the decision to postpone the match at such short notice will frustrate and disappoint supporters, and apologises for the inconvenience and disruption caused.
"The remaining four Premier League matches due to be played this weekend are currently scheduled to proceed as planned.
"The Board assesses applications to postpone matches on a case-by-case basis, based on existing rules and Covid-19 postponement guidance issued to all clubs.
"It will assess a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact of the Covid-19 outbreak at the club; and the ability of the players to safely prepare for and play the match.
"The Board must also consider the wider risks to the opposition and other people the club representatives may come into contact with.
"With the health and wellbeing of all players and staff the priority, and in light of the recent rise in Covid-19 cases across the country, the Premier League has reintroduced Emergency Measures.
"These include protocols such as more frequent testing, wearing face coverings while indoors, observing social distancing and limiting treatment time."
But Premier League bosses remain determined to plough ahead with matches and are not at this stage considering a Boxing Day shutdown.
Club bosses will be invited to Monday’s virtual gathering later today as Prem chief executive Richard Masters works overtime to keep the show on the road.
Masters and other senior League bosses hope the 'emergency measures' brought into operation over the past seven days – including daily lateral flow tests as a condition of entry to training grounds – can stem the fixtures bleeding.
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