Everton’s Premier League clash at home to Manchester City today has been called off after more positive COVID-19 tests were returned among Pep Guardiola’s squad.
City players Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker were already confirmed as having tested positive late last week, but another five members of their squad are now said to have contracted the coronavirus.
Guardiola said after their 2-0 home win over Newcastle on Boxing Day that his squad would be tested again before their trip to Everton.
And as a result of COVID-19 spreading further around his squad, a last-minute decision to postpone tonight’s game at Goodison Park has been taken.
A statement on City’s official website read:
“After the latest round of COVID-19 testing, the club returned a number of positive cases, in addition to the four already reported on Christmas Day.
“With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond.
“Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, have decided to postpone the fixture.
“All positive cases involving players and staff will observe a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine. The first team training ground at City Football Academy will close for an indeterminate period, with the squad and associated bubble undergoing testing before any decision is made for training to resume.
“Everyone at the Club wishes all of our colleagues a speedy recovery ahead of their return to work, training and competition.”
Everton confirmed the news as well at the top of the hour, releasing a statement on the website.
Following a Premier League Board Meeting this afternoon, Everton Football Club has been informed that tonight’s fixture against Manchester City has been postponed on medical grounds due to an increase in cases of COVID-19 in the Manchester City squad.
It is not yet known when the game will be rearranged for.
Everton’s next match is another home game, when West Ham visit Goodison Park on New Year’s Day.