Burnley v Leicester off after Covid and injuries hit Sean Dyche’s squad

Burnley’s game at home to Leicester on Saturday has been called after the Premier League accepted that Covid and injuries had left Sean Dyche with insufficient players.

Burnley applied for a postponement on the grounds that they did not have the minimum 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper to contest the match. On Thursday, the Burnley striker Chris Wood moved to Newcastle after his £25m release clause was activated.

A league statement read: “The Premier League Board accepted Burnley’s application as the club does not have the required number of players available for the match, due to Covid-19 cases and injuries.”

It is the fourth Burnley match this season postponed because of Covid, but the first time the request has come from them. They had another fixture, against Tottenham, postponed at short notice after heavy snow. That has left the Clarets with a number of games in hand on other clubs around them at the foot of the table. Dyche’s side have played 17 league games this season, the fewest of any side in the top flight, and now have four matches to reschedule. Their rearranged match against Watford is due to be played next Tuesday though must now be in doubt.

Burnley were without seven players due to Covid-19 during last weekend’s 2-1 FA Cup loss to Championship side Huddersfield, a match that was also missed by Dyche, after a positive test, with Ian Woan taking charge on the day. Dyche is now out of isolation and had been due to speak to the media on Friday, his first chance to address Wood’s abrupt exit for St James’ Park after Newcastle activated the release clause in the New Zealand international’s contract. However, that press conference has now been cancelled.

Leicester are among the other Premier League sides to have been badly hit by Covid-19. Though ready to play this weekend, the Foxes had been forced to postponed Tuesday’s trip to Everton, a match that had already been rearranged from December.


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