The idea of a Premier League match tomorrow afternoon between Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur seemed highly questionable just two days ago, but barring any significant updates, it looks like it will go ahead. According to Antonio Conte in his pre-match press conference, the Premier League have rejected both Tottenham and Leicester’s requests to postpone tomorrow’s match, and it is almost certain that it will go ahead as scheduled.
“The Premier League did not want to postpone the match against Leicester. Maybe because we have to play with Burnley and Brighton and we have postponed two games before.
Last week was awful because the government decided, in the right way, to close the training ground and stop our training session. I had the press conference where it is very difficult to talk about football. Then we had Thursday, Friday and Saturday without any sessions. On Sunday we started working again with a few players, because we also had problems with the U23 team.
We started with 13/14 players [on Sunday] Today we trained with 16 players and more young players.”
– Antonio Conte
Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers said Leicester had also asked to postpone the match due to a similar COVID outbreak within their camp.
Brendan Rodgers says he has 9 players unavailable due to illness and coronavirus. He asked the Premier League to consider postponing the Tottenham match but they refused. Evans isn’t bad after the scan, but he’ll be missing out. Soyuncu, injured in the hamstring, Amartey unfit enough to start. CBs are not suitable for #LCFC
– Rob Tanner (@RobTannerLCFC) December 15 2021
The league’s response seems, quite frankly, insane. I understand that the league probably doesn’t want to be put in a situation where they likely won’t be able to make up matches before Round 38, but they are having a hard time postponing matches while they are in the middle of a global pandemic that has already caused one shutdown and nearly an entire season of matches behind closed doors. can not understand it.
Hotspur Way, Tottenham’s training ground, has been closed for three days after nine first-team players, five staff and an undisclosed number of under-23 players returned for positive COVID tests last week, leading to the postponement of Tottenham’s Europa League match against Rennes and the end of the season. last week. The Premier League trip to Brighton and Hove Albion. Since then, the COVID outbreak has also appeared in other Premier League clubs, including Leicester, Aston Villa and Manchester United, prompting the Premier League to tighten coronavirus testing protocols that were recently relaxed.
Dan Kilpatrick writes in the Evening Standard that two players who tested positive for the virus early on are now back in training, but Antonio Conte is still working with a “depleted squad” ahead of Thursday’s game and it’s not clear if the players who just had them are back. It will be fit to play. There were some unconfirmed reports suggesting that Conte was working with the pivotal midfield duo of Harry Winks and Tanguy Ndombele during training on Tuesday.
Spurs already has two matches on hand – the Brighton game and the trip to Burnley which was canceled due to heavy snow. The fixture schedule could not have been easier in January, especially with the prospect of Tottenham still participating in the Conference League (pending a decision by the UEFA Ethics Council on the canceled Rennes match) and the resumption of the League Cup and FA Cup. However, health and safety must come first and with Omicron now approaching England and both Spurs and Leicester primarily with skeletons, this looks incredibly dumb from the Premier League.
This means that the squad will be a complete mystery, especially since Spurs have not confirmed – and likely will not – the players who have been discharged from hospital. This is going to be a fun day of speculation!
Who is Leicester back? “We have positive players, and some players can play tomorrow. Two players are back in training today, and yesterday another player. But the need for us to be fit to play, for sure I will get these guys off the bench tomorrow. I think they are 15-20 minutes.”
– Charlie Eccleshare (@CDEccleshare) December 15 2021
to update: Kilpatrick tweeted some important clarifications about the adjournments required. Apparently, Spurs asked for the match to be postponed because they were desperate to reschedule the Rennes match and wanted to play it tomorrow instead. Leicester have asked for it to be postponed due to the number of players they have lost due to COVID and disease.
#throwback Tottenham’s understanding has asked for the Leicester match to be postponed so they can play Rennes tomorrow night, not because of the Covid outbreak. PL said no and also rejected Leicester’s pleas for a delay.
– Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) December 15 2021
Spurs also had a very strong case for asking for a COVID-level delay, but that doesn’t seem to be their rationale here. Either way, this is a crazy decision by the league and I can’t fathom it.