RAFA BENITEZ has hit out at the Premier League after Covid-hit Everton had a request to cancel the Boxing Day clash with Burnley rejected.
Liverpool’s clash with Leeds and Watford’s trip to Wolves have both been postponed.
Rafa Benitez has slammed the Prem for refusing Everton’s bid to postpone their Boxing Day game against Burnley due to CovidCredit: AFP
Neither Leeds nor Watford had enough fit first-team players to fulfil their festive fixtures.
The Goodison Park boss declared: “We have six injuries and five players with Covid.
“I think it is not fair.”
The Toffees discovered they had infections in their squad after this week’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Benitez revealed: “On the day of that game we did lateral flow tests, no positives.
“Then we did post-match PCR tests and we had first four cases, then five.
“Burnley is totally different than Chelsea.
“The reality is that we have to deal with a difficult situation.
“We have to wait until tomorrow, the day after, for injuries and Covid and see which players are available.
“I have to try to prepare a team to play Burnley but it is quite dangerous for us.
“We have to play players who are not ready or have knocks – or in the wrong position.”
Benitez says he currently has only nine outfield players to choose from plus three goalkeepers available for the trip to Burnley.
The game could still be called off if cases rise but Clarets boss Sean Dyche reckons Benitez has thrown his rattle out of the pram ‘too early’.
His side’s games with Watford and Aston Villa were called off due to Covid in the 11th hour.
On Everton’s failed postponement bid, Dyche claimed: “I think it’s a little bit early although I don’t know the situation of their players.
“The Premier League will no doubt keep looking at the situation.
“Here, I’m just following the protocols with my players.
“But I do think it is very difficult to lay down exact scenarios for each club.”
⚽ Read our Football news live blog for the very latest rumours, gossip and done deals