Tottenham still expect to face COVID-hit Villa: Mourinho

Reuters , Monday 11 Jan 2021

Soccer Football - FA Cup - Third Round - Marine AFC v Tottenham Hotspur - Rossett Park, Crosby, Britain - January 10, 2021 Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho is interviewed after the match (REUTERS)

Tottenham Hotspur are preparing for their Premier League game at Aston Villa to go ahead on Wednesday despite their opponents being hit by a COVID-19 outbreak, manager Jose Mourinho said.

Villa had to field academy players in their 4-1 FA Cup third-round loss to Liverpool last Friday after nine first team players and five staff members tested positive for the virus.

Asked by reporters when Tottenham expect to play next after they defeated eighth-tier Marine AFC 5-0 in the FA Cup, Mourinho replied: "Wednesday.

"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."

Premier League rules state that a game cannot be postponed unless a team has fewer than 14 players available.

Spurs have already had a league game against Fulham postponed due to COVID-19.

Sky Sports has also reported that the Football Association will investigate Crystal Palace winger Eberechi Eze's visit to his former side Queens Park Rangers on Saturday for their FA Cup game against Fulham.

Eze was pictured not wearing a mask in the directors' box at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.

James Calder, the independent chairman of the government's committee on the return of elite sport, said the sport had to be more vigilant.

"Just because you have a negative test one day doesn't mean you won't have COVID the next day and be infectious," Calder told The Times.

"You need to keep your guard up ... that's not just players but all staff, outside the clubs and training grounds as well."

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