Further EPL disruption sees Burnley-Watford postponed again

January 17, 2022 GMT
FILE - A corner flag showing the Burnley FC logo is seen ahead of the English Premier League soccer match between Burnley and West Ham United and at Turf Moor stadium in Burnley, England, May 3, 2021. Burnley’s shortage of players due to coronavirus cases and injuries has led to its Premier League match against Leicester being postponed. The league accepted Burnley’s case that it didn’t have enough squad members available to play their match on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super, file)
FILE - A corner flag showing the Burnley FC logo is seen ahead of the English Premier League soccer match between Burnley and West Ham United and at Turf Moor stadium in Burnley, England, May 3, 2021. Burnley’s shortage of players due to coronavirus cases and injuries has led to its Premier League match against Leicester being postponed. The league accepted Burnley’s case that it didn’t have enough squad members available to play their match on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super, file)
FILE - A corner flag showing the Burnley FC logo is seen ahead of the English Premier League soccer match between Burnley and West Ham United and at Turf Moor stadium in Burnley, England, May 3, 2021. Burnley’s shortage of players due to coronavirus cases and injuries has led to its Premier League match against Leicester being postponed. The league accepted Burnley’s case that it didn’t have enough squad members available to play their match on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super, file)
FILE - A corner flag showing the Burnley FC logo is seen ahead of the English Premier League soccer match between Burnley and West Ham United and at Turf Moor stadium in Burnley, England, May 3, 2021. Burnley’s shortage of players due to coronavirus cases and injuries has led to its Premier League match against Leicester being postponed. The league accepted Burnley’s case that it didn’t have enough squad members available to play their match on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super, file)
FILE - A corner flag showing the Burnley FC logo is seen ahead of the English Premier League soccer match between Burnley and West Ham United and at Turf Moor stadium in Burnley, England, May 3, 2021. Burnley’s shortage of players due to coronavirus cases and injuries has led to its Premier League match against Leicester being postponed. The league accepted Burnley’s case that it didn’t have enough squad members available to play their match on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super, file)

LONDON (AP) — Burnley’s English Premier League match against Watford has been postponed for a second time, leaving the last-placed team having played five fewer games than some others.

It was a coronavirus outbreak in the Watford squad that led to the game being called off initially in December. Now it’s a shortage of players at Burnley that has seen the league agree to postpone their attempt to play on Tuesday.

It is the 22nd time a Premier League game has been postponed since December linked to the coronavirus, including Burnley’s meeting with Leicester on Saturday.

As well as coronavirus cases, the league again took into account Burnley’s injuries and Maxwel Cornet being with Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations in accepting that the club lacked 13 outfield players to contest the fixture.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche said earlier Monday that only 10 “recognized first-team players” had been able to take part in a practice. The squad was further depleted last week when Newcastle activated a release clause to sign striker Chris Wood.

“We’ve worked really hard to get games on when we’ve been stretched but it’s just too far below the threshold,” Dyche said.

Burnley is a point behind Newcastle but having played three games fewer, having also had a postponement due to a snowstorm in December.

Norwich, which is two points off last place, has played four games more than Burnley.

Teams like leader Manchester City have played 22 matches, while Burnley has played 17 — the fewest in the league.

The league has seen a third consecutive week of a reduction of coronavirus infections, with 33 positive cases in the week to Sunday from tests on players and staff at the 20 clubs.

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