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Premier League & LFC Covid situation: Cases, schedule and 14-player rule

The Covid situation in the Premier League is ever-changing just as it is in the wider society, but what do we know so far regarding cases, vaccines and the fixture list?

There were six postponed games in the Premier League over the weekend due to continued Covid outbreaks, but the message is the show must go on.

All 20 clubs came together for talks over a possible circuit breaker, which was rejected, and it means teams must push on throughout the hectic period.

Liverpool have not been immune from recording positive tests but just what is the current situation at Anfield and across the division?

 

Cases and vaccination rate

NHS staff carry out coronavirus tests at a testing facility in Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln (Joe Giddens/PA)

The Premier League confirmed 90 cases were recorded between December 13 and 19 from a total of 12,345 tests for players and club staff.

Clubs are subject to daily lateral flow tests and at least twice-weekly PCR tests to help avoid an outbreak within a squad.

As for the vaccination rate, the top-flight confirmed 77 percent of players have received two doses of the vaccination, while 16 percent are yet to have their first jab.

 

What about Liverpool?

Jurgen Klopp confirmed “everyone at the training ground is at least double vaccinated and will get the booster as soon as possible.”

And as of now, the Reds have four positive cases with Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Curtis Jones ruled out first with Thiago following a couple of days later.

It means, at the earliest, the first three could return against Leicester on December 28 while Thiago would be back in contention for the trip to Chelsea.

 

Festive schedule, any changes?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 2, 2018: Two Liverpool supporters wearing Christmas jumpers featuring Jürgen Klopp "Merry Kloppmas" before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC at Anfield, the 232nd Merseyside Derby. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Despite many managers speaking out about the struggle to fulfil the festive fixture list, a meeting on Monday failed to see the 20 clubs agree to postpone a round of fixtures on December 28, 29 and 30.

A ‘majority of clubs’ wished to play on despite the outbreaks and postponements and it means Liverpool will need to find a way against Leicester (H), Leeds (H) and Leicester (A) over a period of six days.

But there was some transparency delivered over what a team needs to have to fulfil the fixture, that being 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper from the squad being available.

If fewer than that, ‘appropriately experienced under-21s’ can be used to reach that figure.

 

Anything else?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: A general view during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

FA Cup replays will be scrapped for the third and fourth round to ease congestion, meaning Liverpool’s tie against Shrewsbury on January 9 must be decided at Anfield.

There is also the possibility of the League Cup forgoing the two-legged semi-final, which Liverpool would reach with a win over Leicester on Wednesday.

There is also the possibility of games going behind closed doors should the government impose restrictions, following the footsteps of the Welsh government who are to see no spectators at games from December 26.

It’s far from a popular idea and the debate would go on over whether a break would be preferred to the soulless experience of no fans in stadia.

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