Everton seek clarification on Manchester City postponement after players were ready to play fixture before last-minute decision

Everton seek clarification on Manchester City postponement after players were ready to play fixture before last-minute decision

Everton seek clarification

Another postponement of the Premier League season was witnessed yesterday evening after Everton’s match with Manchester City was called off due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the City squad.

The decision to postpone the game was made just hours before kick-off leaving an Everton side completely ready to take on their opponents only to be told that they would not be playing.

A statement on the Manchester City website read:

‘After the latest round of Covid-19 testing, the club returned a number of positive cases, in addition to the four already reported on Christmas Day. With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond. Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, have decided to postpone the fixture.’

After the official statement from Manchester City, Everton released their own. The club were clearly frustrated with the decision to postpone the match at such a late stage in the day having prepared and set up Goodison Park for the fixture.

‘Our players were prepared for the game, as were both the team staff and everyone at Goodison. Matchday is the most important date in our calendar. And this was a big one.

Whilst Everton will always have public safety uppermost, we will be requesting full disclosure of all the information that Manchester City provided to the Premier League so the Club can be clear on why this decision was taken.’

Everton had the opportunity to go level with their city rivals, Liverpool, at the top of the table should they have overcome the tricky tie against Pep Guardiola’s squad.

With Manchester City already having a game in hand over the majority of their Premier League competitors due to their participation in the latter stages of the Champions League last season, finding a place for this and any subsequent postponements will be a tricky task for the Premier League.

Ancelotti not thinking of January

With Everton not playing until the 1st of January, the focus will now turn to the club’s plans for the window in which they could look to add reinforcement to the squad and Ancelotti’s hopes of reaching a Europa League or Champions League qualifying spot.

Speaking after Everton’s 1-0 win over Sheffield United on Boxing Day, Carlo Ancelotti played down talk of any possible signings coming into the club.

“I think we have a good squad. We are missing a lot of important players. Digne, Alan, James. So, I think with these players back, we can have a really good season. We don’t have to think about the transfer window in January,” the Italian coach said.

Everton seek clarification on Manchester City postponement after players were ready to play fixture before last-minute decision

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 15: Lucas Digne of Everton receives medical treatment during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton FC at Old Trafford on December 15, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

It is slightly surprising that the club is not looking to pursue signings in the upcoming window. With the absence of Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman facing his own fitness issues, Everton have looked light in the full-back areas.

Natural centre-backs Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate have been deputising in the positions despite being unorthodox selections. The assumption that the Toffees may look to sign further full-back reinforcement in January was a legitimate one, however, considering Ancelotti and his recent comments it appears the Italian is happy with his squad and is awaiting the return of several unfit members.

Newcastle Covid cases ‘well into double figures’ as match with West Brom falls in danger of postponement

Jurgen Klopp suggests Liverpool have decided against signing new central defender


This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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Premier League table
# Team MP D P
1 Manchester United FC 17 10 36
2 Leicester City FC 18 12 35
3 Liverpool FC 17 16 33
4 Tottenham Hotspur FC 18 16 33
5 Manchester City FC 16 12 32
6 Everton FC 17 7 32
7 Chelsea FC 18 12 29
8 Southampton FC 18 5 29
9 West Ham United FC 18 4 29
10 Aston Villa FC 15 13 26
11 Arsenal FC 18 1 24
12 Leeds United 18 -4 23
13 Crystal Palace FC 18 -7 23
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 19 -8 22
15 Newcastle United FC 17 -9 19
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 19 -7 17
17 Burnley FC 17 -13 16
18 Fulham FC 17 -11 12
19 West Bromwich Albion 18 -27 11
20 Sheffield United FC 19 -22 5
Premier League 20/21
Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 8
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 7
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 7
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Abraham, Tammy Chelsea FC 6
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 6
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 5
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 5
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 5