Everton v Manchester City postponed after 'increase in Covid-19 cases in City squad'

Premier League match scheduled for Monday night at Goodison Park

A general view of the stadium before the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 19, 2020. See PA story SOCCER Everton. Photo credit should read: Jon Super/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
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Monday's Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City has been postponed due to an increase in cases of Covid-19 in the Manchester City squad, both clubs have announced.

"Following a Premier League Board Meeting this afternoon, Everton Football Club has been informed that tonight's fixture against Manchester City has been postponed on medical grounds due to an increase in cases of Covid-19 in the Manchester City squad," Everton said in a statement.

Manchester City confirmed that the postponement of the match comes after more positive cases of the coronavirus were discovered within the club, having seen four positive tests on Christmas Day.

"After the latest round of Covid-19 testing, the club returned a number of positive cases, in addition to the four already reported on Christmas Day," City said in a statement.

"With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond.

"All positive cases involving players and staff will observe a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine. The first team training ground at City Football Academy will close for an indeterminate period, with the squad and associated bubble undergoing testing before any decision is made for training to resume."

It is the second match this Premier League season to be postponed due to an increase in Covid-19 cases. Newcastle United's game against Aston Villa, scheduled for December 4, was the first to be called off after an outbreak within the Newcastle squad.

The Premier League has continued largely uninterrupted this season despite rising coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom, with much of the country entering strict tier-based lockdown measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

In areas under 'Tier 2' restrictions, supporters have been allowed back into Premier League stadiums up to a limit of 2,000, although that has been subject to near constant change.

Everton hold a three-point lead over Manchester City in the Premier League table, but a win at Goodison Park would have taken Pep Guardiola's side above the Toffees on goal difference.