Liverpool‘s FA Cup third round tie against Aston Villa is under threat after an outbreak of COVID-19 at the midlands club. News broke on Thursday afternoon that Villa had taken the decision to close down their training ground after a large number of players and staff returned positive coronavirus tests.
The statement from the club read: “Aston Villa can confirm that the Club has closed its Bodymoor Heath training ground after a significant Coronavirus outbreak.
“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.”
Villa has since released another statement saying a final decision on the clash with Liverpool will be made tomorrow.
“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,” the statement read.
“Final confirmation will be made tomorrow pending the results of additional COVID-19 testing.”
If the match goes ahead, Liverpool will travel to Villa Park on a poor run of form having won just two of their last six outings.
However, Jurgen Klopp is not worried about his side’s recent results.
“We were not waiting for [this run of form] and we do not enjoy it, but it’s not unlikely that these kinds of things happen,” Klopp said.
“I think we only won two of the last six – that’s not the standard we expect from ourselves, obviously.
“So, we don’t take it easy, but we still see what we can improve, what we have to improve, and don’t think everything was bad in the last few weeks.
“The league is too strong, and if you struggle a little bit, immediately the results go the other way because the opponents are fighting with everything they had. You saw that against Southampton [a 1-0 defeat on Monday].”
CLARIFICATION: A previous headline on this article said the match was cancelled. This was a mistake. The match is currently still on. However, officials are considering a cancellation