Four more Prem matches postponed due to Covid outbreaks

Four more Premier League weekend fixtures have been postponed due to Covid-19 outbreaks.
Southampton v Brentford, Watford v Crystal Palace, West Ham v Norwich and Everton v Leicester have all been called off.
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Real Madrid squad, including Bale, test positive

Real Madrid confirmed in an update on their official club website that Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Andriy Lunin and Rodrygo had all returned positive test results.
Davide Ancelotti, Real's technical assistant and coach Carlo Ancelotti's son, also tested positive.
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Manchester United game against Brighton postponed

Manchester United's game against Brentford in midweek was delayed indefinitely, and the club have issued a statement confirming their match with Brighton has been postponed due to a further 19 cases of Covid-19.
An official statement read: "Manchester United can confirm that our Premier League fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion, scheduled for Saturday 18 December at 12:30 GMT, has been postponed and will be rescheduled in due course.
"The health of players and staff is our priority. Given the number of players and support staff having to isolate due to COVID-19, the club had no option other than to request the match be rearranged. The Premier League board took the decision to postpone based on guidance from medical advisors.
"We will also suspend football training operations at the Carrington Training Complex for a short period to help reduce risk of further transmission."
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Frank calls for postponement

Frank saw his side’s game against Manchester United delayed in midweek due to an outbreak at Ralf Rangnick’s side, and there is no set date for that fixture to be played.
Burnley and Tottenham are other sides who have had to postpone their own games in recent weeks and Frank thanks that this is the right time for the league to institute its own circuit breaker, as well as the forthcoming Carabao Cup round.
"We think we should postpone the full round of Premier League games this weekend," Frank said on Thursday morning.
"Covid cases are going through the roof at all Premier League clubs, everyone is dealing with it and having problems.
"To postpone this round and also the Carabao Cup round would give everyone a week at least, or four or five days to clean and do everything at the training ground so everything is clean and you break the chain."

Potter confirms Brighton vs Wolves request

The comments follow Graham Potter's post-match admission that Brighton had requested the postponement of their Premier League game with Wolves on Wednesday, which was denied.
Brighton lost 1-0 to Wolves, and after the game he confirmed the request, saying: “We asked the question, yes, because of our situation.
“That's my job. I'm the head coach, you've got to try to prepare the team as best you can, so it's not about disappointment or not.
“It is what it is. All you can do is put your case forward and speak to the people, and they make the decision.”

Lowton admits frustration

Meanwhile, Burnley defender Matt Lowton was angered with top flight officials after they did postpone their game with Watford, with the fixture called off just two hours before kick off.
“It is very frustrating, we’d done all the work building up to it, get to the game and obviously you’re ready to play”, he said.
“We were sat eating the pre-match meal when the sports scientist came in and said it was off”.
With a game against Aston Villa on the horizon, Lowton hopes Frank’s calls for a blanket postponement don’t materialise, but does recognise that “the safety of players, fans and things like that is paramount. So hopefully the game can go ahead, but I can see why, if they did call it like that, you can see where they are coming from."

Juergen Klopp, Head coach of Liverpool FC greets fans during the UEFA Champions League match AC Milan between Liverpool FC at San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy on December 07, 2021

Image credit: Getty Images

Klopp calls for vaccine and booster take-up

Elsewhere, Liverpool boss wrote on the club's website that people should take up vaccine and boosters offered against the coronavirus.
"At the time of writing this column I have no idea what impact the previous game against Aston Villa will have had on team selection. There is of course a wider national conversation on the increasing spread of COVID, both in the country but at football clubs also," he wrote.
My message around this has always been simple and clear, I hope: I trust experts. I follow the advice of smart, educated people who know their field because they’ve dedicated their lives to it and have studied it.
"We are clearly moving back to stricter measures around the team environment and at LFC we are absolutely OK with that. As I have spoken about before, we have a very high take-up of the vaccine at our club and have done for a long time. It might be 100 per cent now or as close as is possible, so that’s important.
"I have no issue telling you I received my booster jab as soon as I was eligible and again that will be the case for many if not nearly all within our ranks in the coming days and weeks.
"I won’t apologise for the view I hold on the vaccination, no matter how unpopular it might make me in certain sections of society. I’m the same privately as I am publicly on this.
"If I come across friends or people I care about in my life away from football and they tell me they haven’t had a jab yet, I do my best to encourage them to listen to experts. It’s never a case of ‘listen to me’ – it’s always ‘listen to those who know’.
"Ignore those who pretend to know. Ignore lies and misinformation. Listen to people who know best. If you do that, you end up wanting the vaccine and the booster."

Leicester vs Spurs called off

Leicester vs Spurs was also cancelled on Thurday afternoon in response to the growing rise in concern over the spread of cases.
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