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Premier League Covid Crisis: Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion Postponed

Premier League covid

Manchester United announced on Thursday afternoon that their weekend fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion will be postponed following several COVID-19 cases. The game is the fourth (at the time of writing) to be postponed this week following outbreaks at various clubs, resulting in a Premier League Covid crisis.

Manchester United’s previous fixture away to Brentford was also postponed following initial infections. A Manchester United statement says: “Manchester United can confirm that our Premier League fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion, scheduled for Saturday, 18 December at 12:30 GMT, has been postponed and will be rescheduled in due course.”

Premier League Covid Crisis: Manchester United Suffer Second Match Postponement

Outbreak Among Red Devils Camp

The outbreak within the camp has caused the Carrington Training Complex to temporarily close. The club added: “We will also suspend football training operations at the Carrington Training Complex for a short period to help reduce risk of further transmission.

“The health of players and staff is our priority. Given the number of players and support staff having to isolate due to COVID-19, the club had no option other than to request the match be rearranged.”

It is unconfirmed when the training ground will re-open to footballing activities. Manchester United are one of numerous clubs to confirm cases within its staff and players. As reported by ESPN, an “increasing number of clubs are pushing for a shutdown of the Premier League until the new year in an attempt to deal with the growing coronavirus crisis.”

The postponement of fixtures come as the Premier League reported a record 42 cases in its weekly round of testing.

The United Kingdom is currently experiencing its strongest wave of COVID-19 infections following the outbreak of the Omicron variant. The UK reported 78,610 cases on Wednesday, which is the highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic.

Premier League Confirms Intentions to Continue Season

The Premier League confirmed that the game would be postponed on their website. The statement further disclosed: “While recognising a number of clubs are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks, it is the League’s intention to continue its current fixture schedule where safely possible. The health and wellbeing of all concerned remains our priority.

“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.”

The Premier League further announced that it has reintroduced ’emergency measures’ which involve frequent testing, face coverings indoor, and social distancing.

Manchester United’s next fixture will be away to struggling Newcastle United on December 27. The Red Devils are not involved in next week’s EFL cup fixtures following their third round exit to West Ham United in late September.

The club’s U23s were due to face Chelsea on Friday, however that has also been postponed. The statement revealed: ”With the welfare of Academy players and staff always Manchester United’s highest priority, the decision has been taken as a precautionary measure to prioritise the health and safety of both teams.”

Manchester United’s Struggles

Manchester United last played in a 1-0 win against Norwich City on December 11. If the Newcastle game is to occur, Ralf Rangnick’s men would have faced 16 days without a match. The lack of match fitness may affect the boys in red as they look to close in on top four.

United are currently two points behind Arsenal in fourth. They are currently unbeaten since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dismissal in late November. They will be hoping to pick up their good form whenever they are permitted to play. Rangnick’s men face Atletico Madrid on February 23, 2022, as they look to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2019.

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