Premier League games postponed because of Covid: When could fixtures be played? – Sky Sports

Premier League games postponed because of Covid: When could fixtures be played? – Sky Sports

Premier League games postponed because of Covid: When could fixtures be played? – Sky Sports


An increased number of Premier League fixtures are being postponed due to Covid, but when can matches be played? And will there be a ‘circuit-breaker’ style suspension of matches?
Friday 31 December 2021 12:50, UK
A growing number of Premier League games have been postponed because of Covid outbreaks. Fixtures that need to be rearranged are starting to stack up – but when could they be played? 
There currently appears to be 15 midweek slots where postponed games could be played in 2022 – however, these often clash with Champions League and Europa League knockout rounds, as well as FA Cup and Carabao Cup ties.
There are some options. Could the Premier League’s two-week winter break at the end of January and start of February be scrapped? Or will teams be asked to play beyond the scheduled final weekend of the season, May 22?
Either way, busy months are ahead. We take a look at the calendar…
The midweek of week commencing January 3
For Premier League teams not playing in Carabao Cup semi-final first legs, this would be an opportunity to play a rearranged fixture.
The Carabao Cup semi-finals see Chelsea face Tottenham and Arsenal face Liverpool over two legs.
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The midweek of w/c January 10
For Premier League teams not playing in Carabao Cup semi-final second legs – every club other than Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool – this would be an opportunity to play a rearranged fixture.
However, some teams will be without players involved in the Africa Cup of Nations, which is due to start on January 9.
The midweek of w/c January 17
This would be an opportunity to play a rearranged fixture. However, the Africa Cup of Nations will still be ongoing, so some teams will still be without certain players.
The midweek of w/c January 24 and the midweek of w/c January 31 – if winter break is scrapped
The Premier League winter break is scheduled to run from January 24 to February 7. Could this be scrapped to make room on the schedule for postponed Premier League games?
However, during this fortnight, some Premier League players will be involved in rearranged World Cup qualifiers in Asia, South America, North America and Oceania.
The Africa Cup of Nations will still be ongoing, so some teams will still be without certain players.
The FA Cup fourth-round weekend – February 5/6 – would be an opportunity for Premier League sides knocked out of the competition to play, too. Replays for both the FA Cup third and fourth rounds have been scrapped.
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The midweek of w/c February 14
Champions League last-16 ties will be taking place during this midweek, but this would be an opportunity for Premier League teams not involved to play a rearranged fixture.
Rules preventing Premier League games from taking place at the same time as Champions League matches ended in 2017.
The midweek of w/c February 21
Champions League last-16 ties will be taking place during this midweek, but this would be an opportunity for Premier League teams not involved to play a rearranged fixture.
The midweek of w/c February 28
For Premier League teams not playing in the FA Cup fifth round, this would be an opportunity to play a rearranged fixture.
The midweek of w/c March 7
Champions League and Europa League last-16 ties will be taking place during this midweek, but this would be an opportunity for Premier League teams not involved to play a rearranged fixture.
The midweek of w/c 14 March
Champions League and Europa League last-16 ties will be taking place during this midweek, but this would be an opportunity for Premier League teams not involved to play a rearranged fixture.
The March international break runs from March 21 through to the Premier League’s return on April 2.

There is unlikely to be any chance of this break being scrapped, as it not only involves international friendlies but also World Cup play-offs for European nations, with the semi-finals of those play-offs on Thursday March 24, and the finals on Tuesday March 29.
The midweek of w/c April 4
Champions League and Europa League quarter-final ties will be taking place during this midweek, but this would be an opportunity for Premier League teams not involved to play a rearranged fixture.
The midweek of w/c April 11
Champions League and Europa League quarter-final ties will be taking place during this midweek, but this would be an opportunity for Premier League teams not involved to play a rearranged fixture.
The midweek of w/c 18 April
This would be an opportunity to play a rearranged fixture.
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The midweek of w/c April 25
Champions League and Europa League semi-final ties will be taking place during this midweek, but this would be an opportunity for Premier League teams not involved to play a rearranged fixture.
The midweek of w/c May 2
Champions League and Europa League semi-final ties will be taking place during this midweek, but this would be an opportunity for Premier League teams not involved to play a rearranged fixture.
The midweek of w/c May 9
This would be an opportunity to play a rearranged fixture.
The midweek of w/c May 16
The Europa League final takes place on May 18, but this would be an opportunity to play a rearranged fixture for any Premier League team not involved.
The midweek of w/c May 23
If the Premier League were to be extended beyond its scheduled final day of May 22, games could be played in the following week by teams not involved in the Europa Conference League final on May 25.
The Champions League final is on Saturday May 28.
Into the summer?
There is a 10-week break in club football from the Champions League final on May 28 and the start of the 2022/23 Premier League season on August 6, which could allow the campaign to stretch into the summer.
However, the next round of the Nations League gets underway on June 2, with four competitive international games taking place through to June 14. England boss Gareth Southgate has described the matches as “ideal preparation” for the World Cup and, like most international managers involved in those tournaments, he would be loathe to be without his key players.
With next summer already leading into a disrupted 2022/23 campaign because of the winter World Cup, the room for manoeuvre is extremely limited.
Brighton vs Tottenham – Sunday December 12, Premier League
Brentford vs Man Utd – Tuesday December 14, Premier League
Burnley vs Watford – Wednesday December 15, Premier League
Leicester vs Tottenham – Thursday December 16, Premier League
Man Utd vs Brighton – Saturday December 18, Premier League
Southampton vs Brentford – Saturday December 18, Premier League
Watford vs Crystal Palace – Saturday December 18, Premier League
West Ham vs Norwich – Saturday December 18, Premier League
Aston Villa vs Burnley – Saturday December 18, Premier League
Everton vs Leicester – Sunday December 19, Premier League
Liverpool vs Leeds – Sunday December 26, Premier League
Wolves vs Watford Sunday December 26, Premier League
Burnley vs Everton Sunday December 26, Premier League
Leeds vs Aston Villa – Tuesday December 28, Premier League
Arsenal vs Wolves – Tuesday December 28, Premier League
The 2021/22 Premier League handbook includes Covid protocols, and states the Premier League board will “only permit the rearrangement or postponement of a league match in exceptional circumstances”.
The board make calls on a case-by-case basis, and by way of guidance the Premier League says permission for a postponement will not be granted if a club have 14 or more players from their squad list available.
In a statement, the Premier League added it would “assess a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact of the Covid-19 outbreak at the club; and the ability of the players to safely prepare for and play the match.
“The Board must also consider the wider risks to the opposition and other people the club may come into contact with.”
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