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Premier League Matches to Go Ahead if Clubs Have 13 Available Players

The standard appears set: the Premier League will push through Omicron and never mind player safety concerns.

The Official Nike Premier League Match Ball Photo by Visionhaus

Over the past weekend, six of ten Premier League matches were postponed due to Covid outbreaks as the Omicron variant continues to sweep through England. After Christmas, many of those same teams are set to play twice in three days.

The holiday fixture list is an overpacked headache at the best of times for Premier League managers. This season, there have been concerns that a pair of games scheduled on or around the 26th and 28th of December would be untenable for many.

Despite that, and following an all-clubs meeting at which discussions over postponing one round of post-Christmas matches took place but no vote was held, those games are all set to go ahead as planned according to the BBC and other outlets.

According to reports, the standard is to be that if clubs have 13 players including at least one goalkeeper available, no further league games will be postponed. Efforts will be made to scrap FA Cup replays and reduce the League Cup semis to one leg.

Before the meetings, rumours suggested some clubs only saw the postponement of a post-Christmas match round as viable if it went hand-in-hand with a push to boost vaccination rates in the Premier League, which trails other top European leagues.

Without that, delaying games with little reason to believe the situation would be much improved at a later date was seen as holding little value. It may be, then, that clubs have signalled they have no stomach to pressure their unvaccinated players.

Liverpool are one of the few English sides that have sought to be transparent about their situation, acknowledging which players are out due to Covid as well as the fact their entire squad has been vaccinated and those eligible have booster shots.

While Omicron’s vaccine resistance means that the club have still seen players return positive Covid tests, being vaccinated and when possibly boostered greatly reduces the risk of developing symptoms and suffering long-term side effects.