Chelsea have seen three more players test positive for coronavirus this week but will still play against Everton today.
Three Chelsea players have tested positive for coronavirus making the Blues the latest Premier League club to see cases emerge among their playing squad. But Thursday night’s clash with Everton is still scheduled to kick off.
The west Londoners already have Mateo Kovacic in isolation after he tested positive for Covid last week. Now, three more players have contracted the virus after the Blues took part in a full-contact training session on Wednesday. Chelsea have re-tested the remainder of their squad this lunchtime and were relieved to discover the virus had not spread any further.
Football is bracing itself for more than a dozen requests for matches to be postponed this weekend amidst the Omicron surge.
The Omicron variant has led to a large increase of cases in the UK, with Wednesday seeing 78,610 people testing positive – the highest daily number since the pandemic began.
The new variant has affected the Premier League deeply, with several matches being canceled due to an outbreak at multiple clubs.
Brentford’s clash at home Manchester United on Tuesday was postponed until the New Year after the visitors were forced to close down their training center in the build-up to the match.
Meanwhile, Burnley’s match against Watford on Wednesday was called off two hours before kick-off after the Hornets announced an outbreak in their team.
Leicester’s top flight clash with Tottenham, and Saturday matches between Sheffield Wednesday’s and Accrington and Crawley’s encounter with Oldham Athletic have all been called off on Thursday, with officials expecting many more to follow suit.
Leicester applied to the Premier League once again on Thursday morning to postpone the match with Spurs, after both clubs saw appeals rejected earlier this week. The Foxes have also closed their training ground to deal with the outbreak.
The Premier League is holding daily briefings, while the League Managers’ Association is in regular dialogue with the top flight and EFL as managers seek clarity on a rapidly worsening situation.
While the Premier League and EFL wish for the campaign to continue, there is a growing belief among club medics that an enforced break is looking increasingly likely.