It is with regret that the Premier League Board has postponed a further four matches due to be played this weekend.
The affected fixtures are:
Saturday 18 December
15:00 Southampton v Brentford
15:00 Watford v Crystal Palace
15:00 West Ham United v Norwich City
Sunday 19 December
12:00 Everton v Leicester City
Earlier today we announced that Manchester United’s fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday has also been called off.
The League understands fans will be disappointed these matches have had to be postponed and apologises for the inconvenience and disruption caused. All other fixtures due to be played this weekend are currently scheduled to proceed as planned.
The Board has agreed to postpone the matches after assessing individual club requests this evening.
Brentford have an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. This has resulted in their training ground being closed which means they are unable to prepare for Saturday’s match.
Watford also continue to have an ongoing outbreak, resulting in their training ground being closed, and have an insufficient number of players available to fulfil their match.
Norwich City have an insufficient number of players available to fulfil their match due to COVID-19, injuries and other illnesses.
Leicester City have a COVID-19 outbreak within the squad which has left the club with an insufficient number of players available to fulfil the match. The club’s first-team training ground was closed this morning to help contain the outbreak.
The Board assesses applications to postpone matches on a case-by-case basis, based on existing rules and COVID-19 postponement guidance issued to all clubs.
It will assess a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak at the club; and the ability of the players to safely prepare for and play the match. The Board must also consider the wider risks to the opposition and other people the club representatives may come into contact with.
With the health and wellbeing of all players and staff the priority, and in light of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, the Premier League has reintroduced Emergency Measures.
These include protocols such as more frequent testing, wearing face coverings while indoors, observing social distancing and limiting treatment time.