Thursday 7 January 2021 4:54 pm

Aston Villa's 'significant' Covid-19 outbreak puts Liverpool FA CUp third round tie in doubt

Aston Villa have reported a major Covid-19 outbreak at the club which threatens the viability of tomorrow’s FA Cup tie against Liverpool.

Villa said a “large number” of players and staff tested positive earlier this week. More positive test were reported in a second round today.

The club has closed its training ground, meaning it has been unable to prepare for the third round match at home to Liverpool.

Read more: Footballers warned by own union to stick to lockdown rules following spate of high-profile breaches at top clubs

Southampton’s FA Cup tie with Shrewsbury has already been called off due to Covid cases at the League One club.

Derby plan to use youth players only against Chorley this weekend after their entire first team was ruled out.

Burnley have reported an outbreak that could jeopardise their tie with MK Dons on Saturday.

“Aston Villa can confirm that the club has closed its Bodymoor Heath training ground after a significant coronavirus outbreak,” the club said.

“A large number of first team players and staff returned positive tests after being routinely tested on Monday and immediately went into isolation.

“A second round of testing was carried out immediately and produced more positive results today.

“First team training ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup match with Liverpool was cancelled.

“Discussions are ongoing between medical representatives of the club, the Football Association and the Premier League.”

Covid outbreaks have caused Manchester City and Fulham to postpone Premier League matches in recent weeks.

Lower league football has been even worse hit by the rise in cases, with 11 postponements in the Championship, League One and League Two since the weekend.

Rugby’s domestic programme has been badly hit, while doubts surround plans for the Six Nations and British and Irish Lions tour.