Premier League • England

Chelsea hit out at Premier League after more Covid cases hit before Wolves clash

Chelsea players Saul Niguez, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi celebrate a Carabao Cup win against Southampton, October 2021

Chelsea have confirmed a request to postpone their Premier League match at Wolves was rejected.

The Blues issued a statement revealing strong disappointment at league bosses insisting Sunday’s match at Wolves went ahead on schedule. It comes after six of this weekend’s Premier League games have been postponed due to Covid-19 outbreaks.

Chelsea were already without Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi due to positive tests.

The Stamford Bridge club were understood to have lost more players to positive tests on Saturday, leaving the west Londoners travelling to Wolverhampton with a makeshift squad.

Ben Chilwell has been isolating due to a positive Covid test, but was already sidelined with knee trouble.

Jorginho, Kai Havertz and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were not on Chelsea’s team bus on arrival at Molineux.

Thomas Tuchel had already admitted Chelsea could be pressed into starting Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante ahead of schedule on the midfield duo’s return from injury.

Kovacic only came out of isolation on Friday and has not played since October due to hamstring trouble, while Kante has not featured since November with a knee issue.

Chelsea hammer Premier League

“We are deeply disappointed that our application was rejected as we felt we had a strong case for postponement of today’s match on the grounds of players’ health and safety,” said a Chelsea spokesman.

Chelsea’s request is understood to have fallen on deaf ears because the Blues were deemed to have had enough players to fulfil the fixture according to Premier League regulations.

Five of Saturday’s six Premier League fixtures were postponed, with Everton’s clash with Leicester on Sunday also called off.

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