Nottingham Forest and Norwich friendlies off due to 'small' Covid-19 outbreaks; Juventus squad isolating

Sheffield United vs Norwich City and Nottingham Forest vs Burnley have both been called off due to small Covid outbreaks at Norwich and Forest; the Juventus squad are isolating after Tunisian midfielder Hamza Rafia tested positive for Covid-19

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Small Covid-19 outbreaks at Nottingham Forest and Norwich City have led to further pre-season friendlies being cancelled this weekend.

Forest had already called off a meeting with Aston Villa after confirming a "small number" of players had tested positive for coronavirus.

Saturday's friendly with Burnley will no longer take place either, with the club next scheduled to face Coventry in the Sky Bet Championship on August 8.

Nottingham Forest boss Chris Hughton (PA)
Image: Nottingham Forest boss Chris Hughton admitted it was 'disappointing' his side cannot play Burnley on Saturday

Forest boss Chris Hughton said: "The situation is unchanged since yesterday when we had to cancel the Villa friendly with some players having to self-isolate. Therefore it is the right decision to cancel the fixture in the interests of players and staff from both clubs and our own supporters.

"It is disappointing that we have not been able to get a run-out against Premier League opposition but Sean Dyche and Burnley Football Club have been very understanding for which I am grateful.

"I am also very disappointed that Forest supporters will have to wait a little bit longer to return to The City Ground but the team and I look forward to welcoming them back against Bradford and Bournemouth.

"The focus of everybody at the club is now to prepare for the Coventry fixture."

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Meanwhile, Norwich had already cancelled their friendly with Coventry City, and have done likewise for their match with Sheffield United after there were a "small number" of positives within the first-team group.

"The club's players and staff will continue to follow Premier League protocols and government guidelines, operating and training in their respective first team bubble at the Lotus Training Centre," a Norwich statement said.

Norwich are due to begin their Premier League campaign against Liverpool on August 14.

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Juventus squad isolating after positive test

The Juventus squad has been forced to isolate after Tunisian midfielder Hamza Rafia tested positive for COVID-19.

The team group entered isolation on Thursday, with the club adding in a statement that people testing negative could carry out regular training and match activities, but would not be allowed contact outside the group.

Rafia, a 22-year-old Tunisia international, has made one senior appearance for Juventus since arriving from Lyon in July 2019.

Massimiliano Allegris side are scheduled to face Monza in a friendly on Saturday July 31, before taking on Barcelona at the Nou Camp in their final pre-season match on August 8.

Juve's bid to reclaim the Serie A title from Inter Milan starts with a trip to Udinese on August 22.

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