Two Premier League Boxing Day fixtures have been postponed as a result of the high number of Covid-19 cases in the Leeds and Watford squads.
Leeds’ trip to face Liverpool at Anfield and Watford’s away match against Wolves have been called off. Both were due to be played at 12.30pm on Sunday.
The already-depleted Whites have recorded a further five positive cases among their first-team squad and staff since their 4-1 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday, while the Hornets have insufficient numbers to field a team with several players and staff still in isolation after their previous Premier League match against Crystal Palace was also postponed.
In a statement, Leeds said: “We are disappointed to confirm that our Boxing Day fixture with Liverpool has been postponed following five new positive COVID cases within the first-team squad and staff. All of the cases we have experienced are asymptomatic which we believe is due to our high vaccine take up.
“The positive cases, combined with our well documented injury issues, means that we would not have enough recognised first-team players to meet the Premier League requirements for the fixture.”
“The Board today was able to make its decisions in advance of Boxing Day to give clarity to clubs and their supporters. We apologise for the inconvenience and disruption caused to those fans’ festive plans.
“Watford FC continue to have an insufficient number of players to field a team after their game against Crystal Palace FC last Saturday was postponed following a COVID-19 outbreak. Due to players coming out of isolation, it is fully expected Watford will be available for their fixture on Tuesday 28 December, against West Ham United.”
The fixtures will be rescheduled in due course.