Everton have request to postpone Boxing Day clash at Burnley turned down by Premier League

Everton have had a request to postpone their Boxing Day clash at Burnley turned down by the Premier League.

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez revealed at his Thursday afternoon pre-match press conference that the club has five cases of Covid, on top of a number of injury situations.

Benitez claims to have only nine senior outfield players and three goalkeepers, and will need to add youngsters to his squad: "We have six injuries and five players with Covid.

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"I think it is not fair."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche spoke on the uncertainty of preparing for what could be a third-successive postponed game: "I knew there were some rumours, but it's a bit early I think, I don't know the scientific rules, if you're testing two days before the game etc, I don't know the vaccination situation of the Everton players.

"There's the managers' call this afternoon, but I can only go off if Everton have a problem, they'll put it into the Premier League, the Premier League will look at it, and will have to decide.

"It certainly won't be my decision, I'll just follow the protocols accordingly."

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Dyche had called for more clarity on postponements, as to what constitutes a worthy case for calling a game off, before the game at Aston Villa was off, just over two hours before kick-off, and he added: "I think it's difficult, you write names down on a piece of paper, and when it comes down to the practical moment of someone having, or not having Covid, and what the rules allow at any given moment, and who is testing, and at what time, it's not easy.

"The testing schedule, you have a test, you have a day off, and you test again, but other teams have different test schedules, as they have different game schedules,

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"Some teams have hardly any days off, some have more. So when do you test?

"If you have a PCR test two days before, do you get on with it and play unless you have symptoms? I do think it's difficult to lay down an exact way and decision-making process, we just have to wait and see what the Premier League decide with varying situations and games."