London, Dec 26 (IANS) Boxing Day is usually the busiest Day in English football with all Premier League clubs in action. Teams usually have to play three matches within a week leading to New Year Day. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused havoc in the 2021 festival season with many matches getting postponed due to Novel Coronavirus spread and injuries.
This week, three of Sunday’s nine matches have been postponed with teams unable to put up a proper playing XI due to Covid-19 positive cases and injuries. The festival period in top-flight English football is always a difficult time for the clubs and managers to ensure the players negotiate this period without any long=-term damage to the players and their campaign.
The team owners and managers have already informed the Premier League of their concern over the crowded fixtures during the vacation period despite the Covid spread,
With Covid-19 forcing postponement of three matches, defending champions Manchester City will be looking to extend their lead atop the table with a win against Leicester City in Manchester on Sunday.
City go into this game on an eight-match winning streak in the league and having won 11 of our last 15 in all competitions. G’ardiola’s side sit top of the Premier League table, with a three-point advantage over second-placed Liverpool.
Leicester saw their two previous league fixtures postponed due to COVID-19. The Foxes beat Newcastle United 2-0 last time out and have won four of their previous 10 league contests.
On Saturday, City manager Pep Guardiola said he will assess his squad after the pre-match training session and the next round of PCR tests.
The players returned after a ‘ouple of days’ rest ahead of the busy festive schedule, with matches against Leicester City, Brentford, and Arsenal inside a week, but the City boss says it is too soon to say who is availab’e an” who isn’t.
“We h”d two days “ff,” said Pep. “Now we start training this afternoon and we will see. Every day we do tests. Maybe they arrive positive, or b”ckroom staff.
“I cannot answer you now, but hopefully as much as possible we are ready for t”e game on Sunday.”
In other matches on Sunday, Arsenal play away to Norwich, Tottenham host Crystal Palace, West Ham take on Southampton, second-placed Chelsea play away to Aston Villa and Brighton meet Brentford.