Burnley v Everton becomes the third Premier League Boxing Day game called off amid Covid-19 outbreak

    LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: A general view inside the stadium as a Covid-19 steward is seen looking on prior to the UEFA Champions League group H match between Chelsea FC and Malmo FF at Stamford Bridge on October 20, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
    Coronavirus continues to wreck havoc on the Premier League fixture schedule (Picture: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

    Everton’s visit to Burnley is the latest Boxing Day match to be called off due to a Covid-19 outbreak.

    The news comes 24 hours after Liverpool v Leeds and Wolves v Watford were also postponed for the same reasons.

    The decision to postpone Everton’s visit to Burnley came after the Toffees put in a request to the Premier League as the club continue to battle injuries and positive cases of the virus amid the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

    A Premier League statement read: ‘Everton were due to travel to Turf Moor to play on Sunday, at 3pm.

    ‘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 COVD-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.

    Rafa Benitez is unable to field a team at present (Picture: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images)

    ‘We apologise for the inconvenience and disruption caused to those supporters’ festive plans.’

    On Thursday, Everton boss Rafa Benitez admitted he was ‘surprised’ their Boxing Day game was still set to go ahead as he revealed there were five positives following the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on December 16.

    ‘We have six injuries and five players with COVID. I am really surprised we are playing this game,’ he said.

    ‘We have followed all the rules, we have done lateral flows every day, we do the PCRs and we have worn the masks.

    ‘We have players in three different dressing rooms [to reduce the risk of transmission].

    ‘But we cannot control if you go to a game, if a player is positive but has not got any symptoms, he can pass the virus to the others. After we played against Chelsea, we found we have five positives.

    ‘We have nine outfield players and three keepers. And then we have to bring five new young players into the team, who are not even 21 years old.’

    There has been no confirmation about when the game will be rescheduled but worryingly for Burnley they now find themselves with four games in hand on some teams having seen matches called off against Watford, Tottenham and Villa in recent weeks.

    MORE : Two Premier League Boxing Day games called off amid Covid-19 outbreaks

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