The 20th round of the Premier League was reduced to seven fixtures when the match between Everton and Newcastle was postponed Tuesday because of a pile-up of COVID-19 cases and injuries in the Newcastle squad.
The Arsenal-Wolves and Leeds-Aston Villa games, due to be played Tuesday, had previously been called off. Everton-Newcastle had been scheduled to be played on Thursday.
“The board accepted Newcastle United’s postponement application as the club does not have the required number of players available for the match (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper), due to COVID-19 cases and injuries,” the league said. “We apologize for the inconvenience and disruption caused to supporters’ festive plans.”
It takes the number of Premier League games to be called off as a result of coronavirus issues to 16 matches in barely three weeks.
Newcastle, which had gone into Monday’s clash against Manchester United with its squad already depleted by positive tests and injuries, lost Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin to injury during the 1-1 draw.