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The Premier League in Turmoil After More Virus Outbreaks

Champions league hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur enter into the season-defining Christmas season with their schedule in tatters. Leaving newly appointed head coach Antonio Conte in a very difficult situation. Rightfully frustrated by the Premier League’s  inability to form a decisive plan considering the situation, teams like Tottenham, Norwich and Leicester feel like other teams around them have been handed an unfair advantage.

Relegation-threatened teams like Norwich who are currently sitting at the bottom of the table could not afford any slip ups, but the Premier League has done them no favors. They were asked to play two consecutive games in the space of 48 hours against a resurgent Arsenal who handed them a 5-0 battering. Coach Dean Smith had already been very vocal about the ‘lunatic’ decision to not suspend their games.

During the special meeting called by the Premier league on Thursday, the biggest issue was the concern of managers and coaches on player welfare and fixture list congestion.

Tottenham have been at the forefront of the pandemic outbreaks during the latest winter season, reporting an outbreak at the start of this month which led to three important games being called off for them. One of which was a crucial UEFA Europa Conference League group stage game against Stade Rennes. UEFA ruled that Spurs had been forced out of the European Championship as the tie had been forfeited and rule 3-0 against Spurs.

KelvinStuttard/ Pixabay | Tottenham have been unfairly ruled out of their only chance of european glory this year

The fans and managers alike are not happy that some of their matches have been simply called off. Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp has been piling pressure on the Premier League to consider changing the schedule to allow teams to rest in between games. The Premier League has responded to the pressure by clarifying in a statement it’s criteria to call off any game.

In case any further team wishes to postpone its games, all the clubs have been given a detailed guidelines on the necessary information they will be required to submit when applying for fixture postponement. This includes identifying the club’s availability of alternate staff, and players unavailable at the moment through injury or illness. As well as a list of suitable under-21 players who can be called in for experienced senior players.

The Premier League will give the final verdict taking into consideration the current situation of the team and undertaking advice from government health authorities.

The Disastrous Christmas Schedule May Have Already Decided the Relagation Battle

Kolforn/ Wikimedia | Norwich are already battling relegation and the recent events have done them no favour

Out of the last fifteen games played by Norwich, Newcastle, and Burnley, there has been only one win. In recent years, teams have been able to climb back up at the end of the season, but it all seems doom and gloom at the moment. Morales will not be high in the Canaries’ camp after their West Ham was called off following the humbling defeat to Arsenal after which they will immediately travel to Crystal Palace on December 28th.

The different schedules for different teams have given many teams an unfair disadvantage. Liverpool’s fixture against Leeds and Watford’s trip to Wolves was postponed while Manchester City had to grind out a difficult win against Leicester. Seeing Manchester City’s loss at Leicester might have given Liverpool the momentum they needed to go on and clinch the title in May. No one wants the title to be decided that way.

Brendan Rodgers Refuses to Let the Situation Affect Leicester’s Spirits

Mat Fascione/ | Leicester are ready to face the challanges ahead with gusto

Leicester City coach Brendan Rodgers has said that the crazy winter schedule was already a massive hurdle for his players, but with the coronavirus now surrounding the season as well, he is genuinely concerned for the welfare of his players.

Leicester have already had two games, against Tottenham and Everton, called off due to an outbreaks withint their camps. But now the depleted squad was forced to travel to league leaders Manchester City for a 6-3 loss. The resilient display left many fans wondering if on another day, with a complete squad, they could have handed Manchester City a defeat.

The team hardly has any time to ponder though, they must now face title contenders Liverpool, all within in a space of one week.

Despite the problems Rodgers has refused to let the situation get the best of him and said that if things go the way they’re planned, Leicester City will not back down from bringing their A-game to the field. He said that the team will not feel sorry for itself regardless of who’s available and who’s not. The challenge to play in the current scenario might not be favourable, but he said his team is going to make sure they embrace the challenge.


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