Burnley's Premier League match against Everton set for Boxing Day has been postponed following a second request from Everton to have the game called off.
A Covid-19 outbreak at the club and a six-man injury list were the reasons Everton initially requested the Premier League postpone their game against the Clarets, but it was rejected. Rafael Benitez told reporters on Thursday he was "surprised" the game was set to go ahead.
But after asking the Premier League again to have the match postponed, the league have agreed on Christmas Eve to call it off.
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The Premier League said in a statement: "The Premier League board has this morning regrettably approved Everton’s request to postpone their Boxing Day away fixture at Burnley.
Everton were due to travel to Turf Moor to play on Sunday, at 15:00 GMT. The board reviewed the club’s request today to postpone the match following further injuries to their squad.
"They concluded that the club will not be able to fulfil their fixture this weekend as a result of an insufficient number of players available to play due to Covid-19 cases and injuries.
"The board this morning was able to make its decision in advance of Boxing Day to give clarity to clubs and their fans. We apologise for the inconvenience and disruption caused to those supporters’ festive plans.
"The league is aware that the decisions this week to postpone three matches on Boxing Day will disappoint supporters, and understands their frustrations at a special time of year when fans look forward to attending and watching football games."
Benitez said on Thursday: "We have nine outfield players and three goalkeepers. And then we have to bring five new young players into the team, who are not even 21 years old.
We have players who have knocks and we have to push them. Dominic [Calvert-Lewin] has been out for two months and maybe has to play for 90 minutes. It is a massive risk.
Burnley's campaign has already been badly disrupted by Covid-19-related cancellations. The Clarets have played 15 Premier League matches while others have played the full 18.

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