Aston Villa confirm 14 positive Covid-19 tests as Premier League games in doubt

Aston Villa have confirmed they have had 14 positive Covid-19 cases – 10 of those from members of the playing squad.

Villa will play a youthful side against Liverpool in the FA Cup tonight as their plans were thrown into chaos by the outbreak of coronavirus.

Chief Executive Christian Purslow discussed the alarming developments on Sky Sports News ahead of the Liverpool clash at Villa Park.

He told Sky Sports News: "We went from zero positive tests for Covid to 14 yesterday. Ten of the 14 positive tests are for players."

Purslow also admitted it was too early to say whether or not the club would be able to fulfil their Premier League fixtures against Tottenham and Everton.

Villa are due to host Spurs on Wednesday night before taking on Everton at Villa Park three days later.

Players that tested positive for Covid-19 must self-isolate for a 10-day period.

Under-23s Mark Delaney is expected to oversee a side made up of under-18 and under-23 players for the Liverpool FA Cup match.

It is one of a number of ties affected by the worrying rise in Covid-19 cases throughout the divisions.

Southampton's tie against Shrewsbury was called off on Thursday due to an outbreak at the Sky Bet League One club.

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Middlesbrough's preparations for their game at Brentford on Saturday have also been disrupted by a series of positive tests.

Boro effectively shut down their Rockliffe Park training headquarters on Monday after positive cases among first-team staff and players had been confirmed.

A further round of testing, which also included under-23 players, took place on Thursday morning with the results expected before the weekend.

Derby have confirmed they will field a youth team for their match against Chorley.

Clubs who feel they will be unable to field a team due to Covid-related reasons must make an application to the Football Association for review.

It is understood a minimum of 14 players – be they first-teamers or from the youth team – should be available.

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