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Coronavirus outbreak at Tottenham threatens to affect plans for busy period

Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Tottenham’s plans to manage a busy period of games have been hindered by a coronavirus outbreak at the club.

A number of first-team players and two members of the coaching staff have tested positive ahead of further PCR tests on Tuesday, the PA news agency understands.

With a must-win Europa Conference League game against Rennes on Thursday and then Premier League games at Brighton and Leicester, Spurs’ preparations look set to be severely impacted.

Antonio Conte on the touchline

Antonio Conte will hope there are no more positive tests ahead of a crunch period (Adam Davy/PA)

They saw matches against Aston Villa and Fulham called off last season due to Covid-19, while two players posted false positive results on a lateral flow test earlier this term, but were later cleared to play by a negative PCR test.

Boss Antonio Conte will be hoping something similar happens again and that there are no more positive tests ahead of a crunch period.

Calling the Rennes game off appears highly unlikely as, according to UEFA rules, a team needs to have fewer than 13 available players or no registered goalkeeper available for that to be the case.

UEFA said in a statement to the PA news agency on Tuesday afternoon: “The match is due to take place as scheduled.

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“For further information regarding Tottenham’s Covid situation, please contact the club.”

If the situation does worsen, the club could consider asking the Premier League to call off the Brighton game on Sunday.

The league works on a case-by-case basis and if a club does request a game to be postponed, it would be a Premier League board decision.

Although Spurs are not officially commenting, they notified their media that Wednesday’s press conference to preview the Rennes game will now be held on Zoom only rather than in-person at the club’s Hotspur Way training centre.

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