Chelsea and Fulham both left fuming as Premier League tear up this week’s fixture list to move Scott Parker’s side’s trip to Tottenham to WEDNESDAY with Covid-hit Aston Villa unable to play… which sees west London derby move too
- Aston Villa had to put out youngsters in FA Cup defeat by Liverpool on Friday
- Covid-19 outbreak at club has seen Wednesday’s Premier League clash called off
- Tottenham will take on Fulham instead after their December 30 postponement
- The announcement, just two days before the match, has angered Fulham
Fulham have been irritated by the Premier League’s decision to re-arrange their postponed fixture against Tottenham for Wednesday after Jose Mourinho side’s clash against Aston Villa was called off.
In an unprecedented late shake-up of the fixture list, the Premier League have moved Fulham’s trip to Spurs to Wednesday night and switched Fulham v Chelsea from Friday night to Saturday.
And Sportsmail understands Fulham have been left deeply frustrated with the attempts to shoehorn in a game at short notice, while Chelsea were also reluctant to have their match moved.
Scott Parker’s men will now face Chelsea at 5.30pm on Saturday. They were originally scheduled to kick-off at 8pm on Friday evening – just 48 hours after the Spurs clash – which kicks off at 8.15pm and will be live on Amazon Prime.
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham will face Fulham on Wednesday rather than Aston Villa
Spurs overcame Marine in the FA Cup on Sunday and will now face Fulham on Wednesday
Wednesday: Tottenham v Fulham, 8.15pm (was TBC)
Saturday: Fulham v Chelsea, 5.30pm (was Friday 8pm)
Sunday: Aston Villa v Everton, 12pm (was Saturday 5.30pm)
TBC: Tottenham v Aston Villa (was Wednesday 8.15pm)
Chelsea reluctantly agreed to delaying the west London derby by 24 hours by playing on a Saturday, to give Scott Parker’s men extra recovery time.
A statement from the Premier League read: ‘Following Aston Villa’s request to rearrange the fixture, and due to the number of players and staff who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been placed in isolation by the club, the Premier League had no other option than to reschedule the match.
‘With the health of players and staff the priority, the League continues to work with Aston Villa on measures to ensure their League season resumes safely and at the earliest opportunity.
‘The Premier League wishes those with COVID-19 a full and swift recovery and will rearrange Aston Villa’s match against Spurs as soon as possible.’
Nevertheless, the proposals, in particular the timing, have angered Fulham.
Parker’s team played QPR in the FA Cup on Saturday, eventually winning 2-0 after extra time.
Villa’s first team are still in isolation and their youngsters lost to Liverpool at the weekend
Scott Parker’s Fulham have been forced to fulfill their postponed fixture with Spurs this week
However, Parker went into the game unclear of the plans for them to play on Wednesday were afoot.
Sources claim the Fulham boss may have approached the clash against QPR differently had he been aware that his team were facing the possibility of playing two Premier League London derbies in the space of three days.
It is understood Fulham were informally made aware of the possible fixture re-arrangement on Sunday.
Spurs were scheduled to play Dean Smith’s side, who were forced to field youngsters in their 4-1 defeat by Liverpool in the FA Cup on Friday night following a Covid outbreak that has resulted in the Midlands club closing their training ground.
Carlos Vinicius scored a hat-trick for Spurs against Marine in an impressive display
Villa’s first-team bubble – including players and staff – were re-tested over the weekend and it is understood the situation has not improved significantly from their previous round of tests.
The Premier League have made the fixture solution to give Villa time to sort out their issues while also providing Spurs with a fixture so not to cause pile-up issues moving forward. Villa’s clash with Everton has also been pushed back 24 hours, and will take place on Sunday at 12pm.
When Spurs boss Jose Mourinho was asked about the situation following his side’s 5-0 win over Marine, he insisted he was preparing to face Villa, telling Sky Sports: ‘Nobody told me that I’m not going to play so [on Monday morning] we start to prepare for that game, and the same Tuesday unless somebody tells us different.’