Dean Smith, Villa manager
Aston Villa’s Premier League match at home to Everton, due to take place this Sunday, has been postponed because of ongoing Covid-19 ramifications at Villa – the West Midlands club’s training ground remains closed after an outbreak.
A Premier League statement said that a “significant number” of Villa players and staff remained in isolation, hence their board’s approval of Villa’s request for a postponement.
Villa already have two games in hand on most other Premier League clubs, and three on Wolves, Brighton and Sheffield United . Their (promising) season is in danger of being seriously compromised to the point that future fixture congestion is inevitable. They are due to take on in-form Man City on Wednesday, a game that was supposed to be played on the opening weekend of the season (that one was postponed because of City’s prolonged involvement in last season’s delayed Champions League).
Another of the games Dean Smith’s men have in hand is at home to Newcastle United, which was postponed from December 4th after the Magpies’ own Covid outbreak. That has been rescheduled for Saturday 23rd January.
Villa’s situation meant that no first-team players were available for their FA Cup Third Round tie against Liverpool last Friday – Liverpool won 4-1 despite a plucky performance from Villa’s youngsters.
With parts of the country (London and parts of the South East) now seeing a levelling off in infection rates, the clock is ticking as the Premier League fights to keep the current season on track. Despite their dire situation, Villa will want to carry on as they are having an excellent campaign so far – if they win both games in hand, they would go above Spurs into sixth place.