The Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Everton on Sunday 17 January has been postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the Villa camp.
Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground was closed on Thursday 7 January following a number of positive tests among the Villans first team. Dean Smith’s side were forced to field a starting XI of debutants from their Under-23 and Under-18 sides for the FA Cup third round clash with Liverpool the following day.
Their Premier League fixture against Tottenham that had been scheduled for Wednesday 13 January was postponed as a result of the outbreak, and the Premier League confirmed that Sunday’s clash has been too.
“Following the rescheduling of Villa’s game against Tottenham Hotspur, which was due to be played last night, a significant number of players and staff remain in isolation. As a result, the Premier League Board has agreed to Aston Villa’s request to postpone the match on Sunday.
“Newcastle United’s postponed match at Aston Villa, which was due to be played on 4 December 2020, has been rescheduled and will now be played on Saturday 23 January at 8pm, live on Sky Sports.
“The Premier League, in consultation with its clubs, has enhanced its COVID-19 protocols, in addition to reimplementing a twice-weekly testing programme as the heath of players and staff remains the priority.
“The protocols, which strengthen key elements of the existing guidance, came into immediate effect last week.”
Public Health England guidelines state that individuals who have tested positive for Covid or anyone who has come into contact with someone who has tested positive must self-isolate for 10 days. Nine Aston Villa first team players and five staff members tested positive – meaning the earliest the Villa squad can come out of isolation is Sunday 17 January.