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Manchester City match against Everton called off due to COVID-19, Chelsea match in jeopardy?

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Football in a pandemic

Everton v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Chelsea’s next opponents, Manchester City were due to play Everton later today, but that match has now been postponed due to an “increased number” of COVID-19 cases in the Manchester City squad.

There is no official word on how many positive cases (and/or close contact cases) there are, but presumably it’s more than just the two (Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker) flagged up over Christmas if the Premier League decided to postpone the match. Unconfirmed reports put the number of cases at five.

The last (and only) Premier League match to be postponed due to COVID-19 so far had been Newcastle United’s match against Aston Villa earlier this month (Dec 4). There were at least five cases at Newcastle at that time as well, but the actual number was likely higher.

Right now, it’s unclear if City will be able to (or allowed to) contest their match against Chelsea, which is currently scheduled for Sunday, January 3. When the outbreak at Newcastle happened, they closed their training ground for about a week, but were able to conduct their following match, against West Brom. However, they had eleven days between the announcement of the closure (Dec 1) and the match (Dec 12), and in this case, City have about half that.