With Aston Villa v Burnley match becoming the latest Premier League game to be cancelled, doubts have been raised over whether its Boxing Day fixtures will go ahead.

The Premier League has announced that Aston Villa’s match against Burnley has been postponed after more positive Covid cases were recorded amongst the Villa Squad.

This postponement means that there is only one Premier League match remaining from the six that were scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 18. 

The only serving fixture is the Leeds against Arsenal in the late kick-off which has raised further concerns over whether the league's Boxing Day features will actually go ahead. 

Will the Premier League be suspended on Boxing Day?

Premier League managers are said to be convening on Monday, December 20 to discuss the Covid-19 crisis, according to Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard revealed that a meeting was being organised by the league early next week to tackle the club bosses’ “concerns and unanswered questions”, over the board's current criteria for granting approval to a postponement.

Magpies manager Howe is worried the incomplete fixture list makes the league “disjointed” and fears if more games are called off in the coming days, there could be questions around the competition’s integrity.

“I don’t think we want half the games played and half not played,” he said.

“The league really loses something if it becomes disjointed in terms of games played. When you start losing players to Covid then the worry is the competition becomes slightly unfair and I don’t think anyone wants to see that.

“A decision needs to be made to ensure integrity is maintained in the competition. I think it is on a knife edge.

“People want to see a fair league and not disparity in games and players missing.

“I’m desperate to continue the programme myself but the welfare of the players and supporters has to come first.”

The current rules on Covid-19 postponements were voted on by the clubs, including Arsenal, and are set out in Appendix 17 of the Premier League’s 2021-22 handbook.

While each decision is made on a case-by-case basis, if 14 or more players are available to play then clubs will not be granted a postponement under the guidance.

Clubs are also expected to use under-21 players with suitable experience in the Premier League, the EFL or overseas matches.

The board also considers medical advice from clubs to assess if it was an uncontrollable outbreak and has been deemed unsafe for players to be together.

Nine of the 10 Premier League scheduled matches are due to take place on Boxing Day.

The Newcastle vs Manchester United game is scheduled for December 27.

These are the matches that are at risk and their kick-off times.

December 26

  • Liverpool vs Leeds (12.30 pm)
  • Wolves vs Watford (12.30 pm)
  • Burnley vs Everton (3 pm)
  • Manchester City vs Leicester City (3 pm)
  • Norwich City vs Arsenal (3 pm)
  • Tottenham Hotspur vs Crystal Palace (3 pm)
  • West Ham vs Southampton (3 pm)
  • Aston Villa vs Chelsea (5 pm) 
  • Brighton vs Brentford (8 pm)

December 27 

  • Newcastle vs Manchester United ( 8 pm)

Premier League games postponed by Covid

  • Burnley v Spurs - November 28
  • Brighton v Spurs - December 12
  • Brentford v Man United - December 14
  • Burnley v Watford - December 15
  • Leicester v Spurs - December 16
  • Manchester United v Brighton - December 18
  • Southampton v Brentford - December 18
  • Crystal Palace v Watford - December 18
  • West Ham v Norwich - December 18
  • Aston Villa v Burnely - December 18
  • Everton v Leicester - December 19