As teams all over Europe are suspending games or playing without fans due to coronavirus fears, the Premier League had been largely unaffected. Now, it appears the virus has reached the Premier League so that may change in the coming weeks.
Wednesday’s Manchester City-Arsenal game, which was rescheduled due to the FA Cup, must be rescheduled because some Arsenal players came into contact with Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis, who tested positive for COVID-19.
In a statement from Arsenal, a number of players met with Marinakis after their Europa League game on February 27. As a result, players and staff who came into contact with the owner will be in self-quarantine until 14 days after to determine if they have coronavirus. Given that the 14 days will end on Thursday and Marinakis just became aware of his positive diagnosis, these people have been out and about. Arsenal said that the risk of anyone contracting the virus is “extremely low” and let’s hope that’s the case, but it’s a good example how the coronavirus can spread.
This seems secondary but the postponed game has some slight implications on when the Premier League title can be clinched. Liverpool needs six more points either by winning or Man City losing those points. The earliest Liverpool could’ve clinched was Saturday had City lost to Arsenal and Burnley. Now with Man City only facing Burnley, the earliest Liverpool can win the Premier League is Monday against rival Everton. If Man City wins or draws Burnley, Liverpool can clinch March 21 against Crystal Palace (as long as they get a result against Everton).
Arsenal is expected to be back at full strength for their game against Brighton on Saturday. There is no current timetable for when Man City-Arsenal will be played.