The corona wave is rolling over English football and has also caught the German national player Timo Werner: As FC Chelsea announced on the sidelines of the game against FC Everton, Werner tested positive and was absent, as was DFB colleague Kai Havertz.
Havertz is suspected of having an infection and has not yet been confirmed. In addition, five games were canceled on Thursday.
As Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel announced, Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi and the injured Ben Chilwell tested positive in addition to Werner. “It started yesterday with the players feeling uncomfortable and unable to train,” said Tuchel, whose team only scored 1-1 (0-0) against Everton and with 37 points are now more clearly behind second-placed Liverpool FC (40) fell back.
In London, Chelsea took the lead through Mason Mount (70th), but quickly conceded the equalizer through Jarrad Branthwaite (74th). National player Antonio Rüdiger played in the Blues from the start.
Liverpool’s team manager Jürgen Klopp was able to look forward to a 3: 1 (2: 1) against Newcastle United on Thursday, but he also had to cope with three suspected corona cases beforehand. Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Virgil van Dijk were therefore absent against Newcastle. The Klopp-Elf fell behind early due to a goal from Jonjo Shelvey (7th), but Diogo Jota (21st) and Mohamed Salah (25th) turned the game around before the break. Trent Alexander-Arnold (87th) made the decision.
Premier League: Omicron variant “like wildfire”
The home game of Leicester City against Tottenham Hotspur scheduled for Thursday evening had previously been postponed at short notice due to numerous cases at the hosts. In addition, four more games of the weekend were canceled on Thursday. This affects Leicester’s away game on Sunday at Everton FC, as well as the games scheduled for Saturday between Manchester United and team manager Ralf Rangnick against Brighton & Hove Albion, between Watford and Crystal Palace and West Ham United against Norwich City.
For Tottenham it was the third game cancellation in a row. The Conference League duel against Stade Rennes and the league game at Brighton and Hove Albion had already been taken off the schedule, as had the Manchester United duel at Brentford FC and the match between Burnley FC and Watford FC.
Brentford’s team manager Thomas Frank has already called for the entire game day to be canceled. “The omicron variant is spreading like wildfire and we should do everything we can to protect ourselves and avoid it,” he said.