<
>

Arsenal-Wolves, Leeds-Villa latest Premier League matches postponed due to COVID

Arsenal's home match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Dec. 28 has been postponed due to COVID-19 cases and injuries in the visitors' squad, the Premier League announced on Sunday.

- Ogden: Focus turns to convincing vaccine-hesitant players
- Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
- Don't have ESPN? Get instant access

It marks the second match postponed for that Tuesday, with Leeds United's clash against Aston Villa at Elland Road also called off due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The two cancellations raises the number of postponed Premier League matches to 15, including three of Sunday's nine Boxing Day fixtures.

"The Premier League Board accepted the postponement application as Wolverhampton Wanderers does not have the required number of players available for the match [13 outfield players and one goalkeeper] as a result of a number of COVID-19 cases and injuries at the club," the league said in a statement.

The Premier League only grants a postponement if a club has fewer than 14 players -- 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper -- available, with the board examining requests on a case-by-case basis.

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds side also saw their Boxing Day game at Liverpool postponed after positive COVID-19 cases in the squad. Wolves' Boxing Day clash at home to Watford had also been called off due to COVID-19 cases in the Watford camp.

A Leeds statement on Sunday read: "We can confirm our Premier League game with Aston Villa on Dec. 28 2021 has been postponed.

"Whilst there have been no new COVID cases in the playing squad, the majority of those who tested positive prior to the Liverpool game [on Boxing Day] are not yet out of isolation.

"Therefore, we still do not have enough recognised first-team players to meet the Premier League requirements for the fixture."

Among those in action on Boxing Day were Villa, who lost 3-1 to visitors Chelsea, with Villa boss Steven Gerrard missing the game after he tested positive for COVID-19. Crystal Palace were without manager Patrick Vieira in their 3-0 loss to Tottenham as he also tested positive for COVID-19.