The Premier League are considering postponing Tottenham Hotspur’s trip to Aston Villa on Wednesday because of the COVID-19 outbreak among Dean Smith’s side.
The entire Villa first team were recently forced into self-isolation because of a significant spike in cases at Villa Park, forcing the Villains to play a team of academy talents in the recent FA Cup third-round defeat to Liverpool.
There have been questions over whether the Premier League would ask Villa to turn to their academy for the league fixture as well, but The Athletic‘s David Ornstein states that league officials are looking to postpone the game and instead replace it with Spurs‘ meeting with Fulham which was postponed in December.
The Premier League are concerned about how they can fit in Spurs’ cancelled fixture against Fulham, but they see this as an opportunity to fulfil the game and give Villa enough chance to make a full recovery before their next game.
It’s a decision which has been met with real frustration from Fulham, who played 120 minutes against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday and are already scheduled to face London rivals Chelsea on Friday.
The idea of pushing that Chelsea game back to Saturday has also been discussed, but as of yet, no plans have been finalised.
Fulham have been told to prepare for action on Wednesday nonetheless, suggesting that league officials see this as the best course of action.
We have already seen four Premier League matches postponed because of COVID-19, and those decisions are being taken into account with this issue. The league want to maintain fairness, and since none of the other teams were forced to play academy players, there’s a reluctance to start now.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho, who has been critical of the Premier League’s handling of postponed games in the past, confirmed after his side’s 5-0 win over Marine that he will be preparing for the Villa game until somebody tells him otherwise.