A full bill of Premier League fixtures has already been cut to nine for this weekend after Aston Villa’s home tie with Everton was postponed on Thursday due to coronavirus. With Villa’s squad members unable to reconvene until Sunday, it was decided their game with the Toffees wouldn’t go ahead as planned.
Yet 18 other managers will field players over Gameweek 19, which marks the halfway point in the season.
Not only have injuries been on the rise in recent weeks due to the unforgiving schedule but so too have positive Covid-19 tests which have wreaked havoc across the division.
Villa, Manchester City, Newcastle United, Fulham and Sheffield United are among the clubs to have had multiple Covid-19 positives. Thirty-six players and staff from a total of 2,593 tested positive for Covid-19 between 4 and 10 January.
As a result, numerous players have been ruled out of action in the latest round of Premier League matches. Here’s the latest injury and Covid-19 related news ahead of the next round of fixtures.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s run of starting in every Premier League game this season came to an end during Everton’s 2-1 win at Wolves on Tuesday night.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that his striker has a hamstring issue – but the fact Everton are now not playing Villa this weekend means the forward has more time to prepare for their next clash, against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup on 23 January.
“Calvert-Lewin is not available because he has a hamstring problem, I think he can recover soon,” Ancelotti told the media on Monday. “He played all the game against West Ham, which means this is not a really important injury. But we want to keep him safe and, when he comes back, to be 100 per cent fit.”
Ancelotti was able to welcome back Richarlison to his XI for the win over Wolves and could also have midfielder Allan available for their next FA Cup tie.
Allan’s absence since the 2-0 win at Leicester on 16 December has been felt – but Ancelotti expects his midfield dynamo to return within the next 10 days.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
At the age of 34 Jamie Vardy shows no sign of slowing down – yet the striker was afforded the day off last weekend as Leicester beat Stoke 4-0 in the FA Cup third round.
Brendan Rodgers confirmed his frontman has been carrying a hip injury and that the rest has righted the problem.
Rodgers said: “Both of those players (Vardy and James Maddison) are available,” said Rodgers. “It wasn’t so much a rest, they couldn’t play or if they did play, it would have been a huge risk for them.
“They have had ongoing issues over the course of the season and we saw that game as the window for them to get some medical work done with them. That’s worked well for us and they have rejoined the group.”
Next up for…
Read More:Martial, Vardy, Matip and more – the players at risk of missing Premier League