Leicester vs Tottenham: Premier League fixture postponed following Covid-19 outbreak

Tottenham are facing mounting fixture congestion after a third consecutive postponement; Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said on Wednesday that the Premier League had rejected a request for the game to be postponed

Leicester's King Power Stadium (PA)
Image: Leicester's King Power Stadium was set to host Thursday night's game

Leicester's Premier League match against Tottenham on Thursday has been postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Foxes' squad.

The postponement comes after Leicester made a second request to the Premier League for the match to be cancelled, having confirmed more positive coronavirus cases on Thursday morning.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said on Wednesday that it was "disappointing" that the Premier League had rejected an initial request from the Foxes for the fixture to be postponed.

"Leicester City can confirm that the Premier League Board has decided to postpone Thursday night's fixture against Tottenham Hotspur," a club statement said.

"The decision was taken with guidance from medical advisors after the Club resubmitted its application for postponement after confirmation this morning (Thursday) of further positive tests for Covid-19 within the first team squad. As a result, the club has an insufficient number of First Team players available to fulfil the match."

Leicester added that first team operations at their training ground would be shut down for 48 hours, in the aim of acting as a "circuit breaker" to reduce the possibility of further cases.

The match becomes Tottenham's third consecutive postponement, after a coronavirus outbreak of their own saw their Europa Conference League match against Rennes and last weekend's Premier League game against Brighton called off.

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The postponement comes hours after Brentford head coach Thomas Frank called on the Premier League to suspend this weekend's round of fixtures, with several top-flight clubs struggling to contain Covid-19 outbreaks.

Manchester United's trip to Brentford on Tuesday and Watford's visit to Burnley are the other Premier League games that have so far been called off this week.

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Brendan Rodgers says he was disappointed the Premier League refused their initial request to postpone the game against Tottenham due to the absence of nine players.

Chelsea are due to face Everton on Thursday evening, while Liverpool are set to host Newcastle in the two remaining matches in this round of Premier League fixtures.

"The Premier League Board has postponed Leicester City's match against Tottenham Hotspur tonight due to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases within Leicester's squad today," a Premier League statement said.

"In light of the new information, Leicester applied this morning for the fixture to be called off due to an ongoing outbreak within the squad, which has resulted in more players and staff testing positive for Covid-19 today.

"This has left the club with an insufficient number of players available to fulfil the match."

The Premier League reiterated that it assesses applications to postpone matches on a "case-by-case basis".

Rodgers said in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday that his side had been a "big doubt" to take the field for their 4-0 victory over Newcastle on Sunday, and that he was without nine first-team players through a mixture of Covid and illness going into the Spurs game.

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Tottenham boss Antonio Conte confirmed some players have returned to training after isolating, but they must be patient as they build up their fitness.

Tottenham now have three Premier League matches that need rescheduling, with their match two weeks ago at Burnley also postponed due to bad weather.

Spurs boss Antonio Conte said on Wednesday that Tottenham had asked for the Leicester match to be postponed to allow them to play the Europa Conference League match against Rennes that they had been forced to delay last week.

Tottenham confirmed the match had been called off, but did not release a statement of their own.

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