Tottenham’s clash with London rivals Crystal Palace on Boxing Day is set to be postponed after a Covid outbreak hit Patrick Viera’s camp. The news means only five of the original nine Premier League matches will take place on December 26.
Palace players were preparing to leave their training ground together to stay in a hotel late on Christmas Day after earlier spending time with their families.
However, news of positive Covid tests rocked the club and they are no longer able to fulfil the fixture.
The match will be rescheduled in 2022 and is the latest festive match to fall victim to the rapidly rising COVID-19 cases.
Liverpool and Leeds’ early Boxing Day kick-off was the first to be called off, along with Watford’s trip to Wolves.
Burnley’s home game against Everton was postponed on Christmas Eve after the Toffees were left with too few players following their own coronavirus outbreak.
Premier League clubs held a meeting earlier this week to discuss a potential break due to Covid.
But Spurs boss Antonio Conte was fuming with how the meeting played out
“I have to be honest I think that it was a meeting where we tried to speak, and some coaches tried to speak and ask about solutions,” he said.
“But I think that everything was decided. And I think yesterday was a wall, and for this reason also I don’t want to go into the discussion.”
When asked if it was a waste of time, he added: “I think so.
“Because when you have a wall in front of you, you can speak and ask what you want but every decision was [already] taken.
“I think yesterday it was a wall and for this reason I also prefer to not go into it.”
Conte continued: “It is not easy for us, it is not easy for all the teams to play after only one day, it’s not simple. You have to manage the situation very well because of the risk of losing players to injuries.
“We have to pay great attention, especially my team. Don’t forget we had half our squad (out) with Covid… When you get Covid, then you have to live with this situation for two to three weeks after you are finished with Covid.
“If there is someone that has a bit of fatigue, it will be very important to have a good chat with the players because we have to manage this period.”