EPL: Tottenham face Fulham on Wednesday as Aston Villa clash postponed
NEWSMAN – Tottenham’s trip to Aston Villa in the Premier League has been postponed after 10 Villa players tested positive for coronavirus last week.
Fulham’s match against Spurs on December 30 was itself postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak among Scott Parker’s squad.
Spurs were due to travel to Villa Park on Wednesday night, but the fixture was thrown into doubt after Villa returned a total of 14 positive tests.
All first-team staff, including manager Dean Smith, were forced to self-isolate and Villa had to field a team of Under-23s and Under-18s for the FA Cup tie with Liverpool last Friday.
But Spurs could scarcely afford another postponement, as they are competing in four competitions and their progression to the Carabao Cup final means April’s fixture away at Fulham will need to be rearranged.
Jose Mourinho said it would be “completely impossible” for another of his side’s games to be called off – but the Premier League has struck a compromise in order to avoid an irretrievable fixture pile-up.
Spurs – who are still in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Europa League – will host Fulham on Wednesday, easing the pressure on schedulers.
To facilitate the fixture changes, Fulham’s west London derby with Chelsea has been moved from Friday night to Saturday evening, allowing a second recovery day for Scott Parker’s side.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa’s home clash with Everton has switched from Saturday and Sunday to give the hosts an extra day to recover from the outbreak which resulted in the closure of their Bodymoor Heath training ground.
In a statement, Tottenham wrote: “The Premier League informed us of the decision following a request by Aston Villa on the grounds of the number of their players and staff who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been placed in isolation.
“Everyone at Tottenham Hotspur sends their best wishes to Aston Villa for a safe and speedy recovery to all those who are affected.
“Details of a new date for our match at Villa Park will be confirmed in due course.”