Aston Villa vs Burnley was the latest Premier League game to be called off on Saturday. It joins an increasing list of matches that have been canceled or postponed due to an unexpected rise in the number of players testing positive to Covid-19.
This is as a result of the effects of the Omicron variant of the virus.
The United Kingdom is witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases as preparations for the festive period continue. But this is not just a national problem, it is also a problem that is threatening the Premier League season as well as Manchester City’s chances of retaining their league title.
The Blues have been in form, winning seven games on the trot. A 7-0 demolition of Leeds United made Pep Guardiola’s and his team’s intentions clear to all. The Catalan boss is gunning to retain his title with the Blues.
Normally, any City fan would want this run of form to continue. With games coming thick and fast in the festive period, the team could be a safe distance ahead of the opposition by the end of January. That could make retaining the crown relatively easy.
But with the current spike in infections, the situation is getting worse by the day. This could force the authorities to take drastic measures to arrest the situation.
As much as we love the game and will like our team to win, in the end life is more important. Therefore, a suspension or postponement of the league could become an option to consider.
That is because there is a pile up of games for other teams while some teams are playing.
Starting with Tottenham’s encounter with Brentford, originally due to be played on December 12, which was postponed, Manchester United vs Brentford followed a few days later. Then Burnley’s game against Watford fell victim too.
Antonio Conte’s Tottenham saw another game canceled, this time against Leicester. Manchester United’s home clash with Brighton, which was due to be played on December 18 soon followed.
If this trend continues, the likelihood of some teams playing while others don't could undermine the integrity of the league season. Not only are Premier League fixtures postponed, teams like Tottenham also have European fixtures that are yet to be fulfilled.
The question is, when will these games be played?
It will not be fair for some teams to have so many matches to play within a short period while others have none.
So unless the situation abates and these teams with a backlog of matches, teams like Tottenham, Burnley, Brentford and Manchester United get to play some of these matches, the authorities may decide to take some drastic measures to correct the imbalance.
That could include calling off or postponing the league until a later date.
The problem with that for Manchester City is the fact that the team’s current form will not continue indefinitely. Teams, just like players get in and out of form and sometimes when a team is on a run like this and it is stopped getting back to this type of form could take some time.
In a competitive league like the EPL, that could make all the difference between winning the title or not winning it. So in that sense the current situation can affect Man City negatively.
One can only hope that the situation gets better soon so all the teams can get on the field and do the business. That way, the Cityzens could be celebrating another league title at the end of the campaign.