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The Premier League is under increasing pressure to suspend this weekend’s entire schedule following a raft of coronavirus-enforced postponements.

Burnley v Watford is one of nine Premier League games to have been called off in the past week (Martin Rickett/PA) - PA Wire © PA Wire Burnley v Watford is one of nine Premier League games to have been called off in the past week (Martin Rickett/PA) - PA Wire

Five of the 10 scheduled matches across Saturday and Sunday have already been called off, taking the total number of postponed top-flight fixtures this week to nine.

The English Football League has also been badly hit by the latest wave of infections across the country, with 14 games affected across its three divisions.

Even the games that were played on Thursday were disrupted. Liverpool were without Fabinho, Virgil van Dijk and Curtis Jones for their win over Newcastle following positive tests for Covid-19, while Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz missed Chelsea’s draw with Everton either through confirmed cases or while awaiting test results.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank, whose side have had matches with Manchester United and Southampton postponed, led the calls for the top flight to be suspended.

Frank said: “We think we should postpone the full round of Premier League games this weekend.

“Covid cases are going through the roof at all Premier League clubs, everyone is dealing with it and having problems.”

He was backed by Newcastle manager Eddie Howe who said: “I don’t think we want half the games played and half not played.

“I think a decision needs to be made for the benefit of the league to make sure there is integrity through the competition.”

Everton manager Rafael Benitez said: “The reality is we have a lot of cases in the Premier League now, so they have to think how to stop that. If not, it could be even worse later on.”


Video: Thomas Frank calls for upcoming Premier League fixtured to be postponed (Evening Standard)

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