The first postponement of the FA Cup 3rd round has been announced with Shrewsbury’s trip to Southampton being called off due to Covid-19. Furthermore, Liverpool’s Naby Keita is confirmed to be missing for the Reds’ clash with Aston Villa.
Southampton vs Shrewsbury off
The days are counting down until the kick-off of the third round of the FA Cup and fixtures are beginning to be thrown into jeopardy with the rise in coronavirus cases growing throughout the English game.
The first game to have been confirmed to have been called off is that of Shrewsbury against Southampton. The football league club confirmed several cases amongst playing and backroom staff.
A statement on the FA website confirming the match delay:
‘Shrewsbury Town informed us that there have been a significant number of positive COVID-19 cases at the club, such that they did not have a sufficient amount of fit, non-isolating players who would be able to play in the fixture.
The club provided us with details of the medical advice it had received and its communications with local Public Health England and liaised with our COVID medical officer for the Emirates FA Cup.
We also requested and considered further information regarding Shrewsbury Town’s ability to fulfil the fixture. There will be a meeting of our Professional Game Board early next week to make a decision as to what will happen with the fixture.’
The news comes following a series of positive tests at Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday with the latter possibly fielding a side of youth players against their non-league opponents Exeter in the third round.
Klopp confirms Keita still out
Meanwhile, other players are missing for the respective clubs due to injury rather than coronavirus infection. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Naby Kieta will be missing still for the Reds as they face Aston Villa in a third-round all Premier League clash.
Naby Keita back “soon” but not for Villa game.
— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) January 7, 2021
Liverpool has not been afforded the luxury of heavy rotation this season due to their commitments in the Premier League and Champions League. Made worse by the fact significant players like Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have been out for the long term with knee injuries.
Keita would likely have been a player that could have looked to rotate with the likes of Jordan Henderson or Georginio Wijnaldum. However, Klopp will now likely need to persist with some of his first-team regulars in order to secure progression through to the next round.
Liverpool’s league form has suffered in recent weeks having lost to Southampton and drawing with Newcastle and West Brom. This is surprising considering that the matches were preceded by a 7-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace. The goals have seemingly dried up and a week off from league commitments may help his side reflect and rethink on what needs to change.
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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|5||Manchester City FC||16||12||32|
|9||West Ham United FC||18||4||29|
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