Chelsea in disarray as THREE more players test positive for coronavirus, hours before Everton clash

Three Chelsea players have tested positive for coronavirus, making the Blues the latest Premier League club to see cases emerge among their squad – but Thursday night’s game with Everton is still going on.

Mateo Kovacic has already been isolated from west London after testing positive for Covid last week – with Thomas Tuchel set to face Everton at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.

But three other players have now contracted the virus after the Blues took part in a full training session on Wednesday. Chelsea’s women’s side has also been hit by the coronavirus crisis this week, with Anne Catherine Berger and Drew Spence testing positive ahead of their Champions League match against Wolfsburg.

Football is preparing for a dozen requests to postpone matches this weekend amid the Omicron surge.

The Omicron variant of the virus has led to a significant increase in cases in the UK, where Wednesday saw 78,610 positive tests – the highest daily number since the pandemic began.

Three other Chelsea players are reported to have tested positive for the coronavirus

Chelsea have already dismissed midfielder Mateo Kovacic after he tested positive last week

Chelsea have already dismissed midfielder Mateo Kovacic after he tested positive last week

The new format has affected the Premier League as well, with many matches canceled due to the outbreak at multiple clubs.

Brentford’s home match with Manchester United on Tuesday has been postponed until the New Year after visitors were forced to close their training center in preparation for the match.

Meanwhile, Burnley’s match against Watford on Wednesday was called off two hours before kick-off after the Hornets declared an outbreak in their squad.

Reports emerged on Thursday afternoon that Leicester’s match against Tottenham Hotspur later that day was due to be called off, after the Foxes reported that nine players were now infected with the coronavirus – leaving them without defenders.

Chelsea had a full training session on Wednesday before Thursday’s game with Everton

Asked if lucrative Premier League television contracts had affected their position, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said: “I’m sure that’s the case, yes.

“In terms of players, managers and coaches, we all want to play matches. But at the end of the day the health of the player is the priority. If you have players available, you get a better product.”

Meanwhile, Brentford reported they had 13 cases among players and staff ahead of their trip to Southampton on Saturday, with Bees boss Thomas Frank calling for the entire weekend in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup quarter-finals to be postponed next week.

Brentford's Thomas Frank has called for this week's Premier League matches to be called off

Brentford’s Thomas Frank has called for this week’s Premier League matches to be called off

The bees recorded 13 positive cases among the players and club staff until Thursday

The bees recorded 13 positive cases among the players and club staff until Thursday

Frank Games wants to stop

Saturday

Manchester United vs Brighton

Aston Villa vs Burnley

Southampton vs Brentford

Watford vs Crystal Palace

West Ham vs Norwich

Leeds vs Arsenal

Sunday

Everton vs Leicester

Wolverhampton vs Chelsea

Newcastle vs Manchester City

Tottenham and Liverpool

Tuesday

Arsenal vs Sunderland (League Cup)

Wednesday

Brentford vs Chelsea (League Cup)

Liverpool vs Leicester (League Cup)

Tottenham vs West Ham (League Cup)

*Premier League unless mentioned

Frank initially told reporters that Brentford’s total was at nine, but was then informed in the middle of the press conference that four more club members had tested positive for the virus overnight.

Then the Danish coach announced: “We think we should postpone the full round of Premier League matches this weekend. Covid cases are spreading across all Premier League clubs, everyone is dealing with it and having problems.

Postponing this round as well as the Carabao Cup round would give everyone at least a week, four or five days to clean up and do everything on the training ground so that everything is clean and you break the chain.

Also in football, you need close contact. Physicists need to do their job with the players in therapy. We’re in the locker room on match days, we travel with coaches so it’s hard to work from home.

Frank believes the decision to halt the weekend’s first-tier matches may be enough to ensure that the packed festive program is able to proceed largely as planned.

Frank added: “We fully respect our desire to play and it is important that football continues, that way we can make sure Boxing Day continues, I am 100% sure of that.”

This alternative from Omicron is running like wildfire all over the world and I think we need to do everything we can to protect and avoid it.

“I think we can do a lot by closing the training grounds for three, four or five days, and then we can come back again.”

Frank also supported the players to get the vaccine, but insisted that it was up to the individual. Brentford, along with Leeds and Wolves, own the vast majority of their players, but the same cannot be said for the rest of the league.

“This is a free choice,” Frank said, when asked if players should get the vaccine. It’s a free world but I would definitely recommend it. My biggest recommendation is that they should be vaccinated.

Tottenham were the first Premier League side to be affected by Omicron’s change of season, which led to the cancellation of their match with Brighton last weekend.

Antonio Conte announced that 13 players were diagnosed with the virus last week, and the outbreak also led to the cancellation of their match in the European Conference with Rennes.

How Omicron Owns the Premier League on EDGE

Brentford

Bees have 13 cases among players and staff – the club is now calling for the circuit breaker to be closed to help clubs recover.

Lister

Several players will miss Tottenham’s visit on Thursday due to Covid. Both clubs requested a postponement of the match, but they refused.

Manchester United

Case numbers are currently unknown but a major outbreak has led to their play for Brentford being postponed. They also requested that Saturday’s match with Brighton be postponed.

Brighton

A request to postpone a match with Wolverhampton was rejected by the English Premier League after the outbreak of the disease in the club. Graham Potter confirmed there were “three to four” positive cases before the game.

Norwich

Dean Smith is facing an intense wait to discover the full extent of the outbreak at the club. Discussions are currently underway with the Premier League regarding Saturday’s clash with West Ham.

Watford

The match saw Burnley postponed hours before kick-off. Case numbers are currently unknown.

spurs

Tottenham were the first club to clash with the Omicron type last week and saw matches against Brighton and Rennes postponed after cases hit a double digit between players and staff. Those who tested positive for the virus are expected to return in the next two days after completing the 10-day self-isolation period. Tottenham also requested a postponement of Thursday’s match with Leicester, but it was refused.

Chelsea

After Brentford, the Blues are the latest club to be affected by the Covid outbreak, after it was confirmed before their match with Everton that three other first-team players had tested positive for Covid, with Mateo Kovacic the first Chelsea player to take the title of the virus this week.

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