Aston Villa will be forced to use U23 players when they host Liverpool in an FA Cup match on Friday night, following a ‘significant’ Coronavirus outbreak.
The team closed it’s Bodymoor Heath training ground on Thursday afternoon, with a good number of players and officials testing positive for the virus.
Almost the entire team immediately went into isolation, including coach Dean Smith, which forces the side to use their youth players if the match is to go on as scheduled, with U23s boss Mark Delaney taking charge of the side.
A statement from the club on Thursday evening confirmed the team was working with relevant officials to ensure the match went on.
“The Football Association and Aston Villa are working closely together to try to ensure that the club’s Third Round Proper fixture with Liverpool can go ahead as planned at Villa Park tomorrow evening,”
“Final confirmation will be made tomorrow pending the results of additional COVID-19 testing,” read the statement.
Earlier in the day, the club confirmed the closure of their training ground;
“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,”