Despite the ongoing disruption caused by Covid-19 cases, Premier League clubs have chosen to play their festive fixtures.
The league’s 20 clubs met on Monday to discuss how to deal with the challenges that arose as a result of six fixtures being postponed due to Covid-19 numbers over the weekend.
It was possible that a round of games would be postponed over the holidays. Because there was no vote, two rounds of fixtures began on December 26 and will last five days.
Gameweek 20, which was scheduled to begin on December 28th, was expected to be postponed in order to relieve pressure on Premier League squads.
Instead, clubs have been advised to play their games if they have 13 fit players plus a goalkeeper.
However, clubs and authorities are discussing the elimination of FA Cup replays in rounds three and four, as well as the reduction of EFL Cup semi-final ties to one-leg matches.
Last week, 42 Premier League players tested positive for Covid-19 in a seven-day period, the most since the pandemic began. Figures for the most recent seven-day period will be released later on Monday.
In the Premier League on Sunday, Chelsea named only six substitutes for their draw at Wolves, while Liverpool drew at Tottenham with a number of first-team players missing.
Five of Saturday’s six games were canceled. Chelsea attempted to have Sunday’s game against Wolves postponed, and manager Thomas Tuchel stated that his players were put in “huge danger… not just because of Covid, but also physically.”
According to reports, Liverpool was among a group of clubs that lobbied for the postponement of gameweek 20.
Following Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp stated that playing on the 26th and 28th of December was not possible.
“It’s impossible because we don’t have the players,” Klopp explained. “We have to believe that we will receive an extra case or two. We can’t just shove everything through. That is not possible on the 26th and 28th. We would prefer to play, but we need assistance with the scheduling.”
The seven Premier League teams still in the Carabao Cup face ties on the 21st and 22nd of December and will play three Premier League games between then and the 2nd of January.