Aston Villa’s scheduled Premier League game with Everton this Sunday has come too soon, with the club forced to postpone the fixture due to the lasting impact of a Covid-19 outbreak.
It is the second top flight game to be postponed this week, after Fulham stepped in for Villa to play Tottenham in last night's 1-1 draw.
The Bodymoor Heath training ground was closed last week as a result of a rise in cases, but Villa say the outbreak is now “under control” and expect “healthy” players and staff to return to training this Sunday, after their isolation period comes to an end.
As a result of their optimism, the match between Villa and Newcastle, which was called off at the start of December due to a similar Covid-19 situation on Tyneside, will now be played on Saturday 23 January at 8pm, a free weekend as both sides are out of the FA Cup.
Villa will have to play catch-up with the teams above them, the majority of which have already played two matches more than them.
In a statement, Villa said: “The club would like to express its immense gratitude to the medical experts who have helped us to get a significant Covid-19 outbreak under control, as well as the Premier League board and our fellow clubs for their understanding during this period.
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“We expect that members of the first team squad and staff who are healthy and safe to return to training will do so on Sunday when the isolation protocols will have been observed.
“The club continues to wish all those affected by the virus a speedy recovery.”