Aston Villa confirm 'large number' of Covid-19 cases ahead of Liverpool clash

Aston Villa have been forced to close their training ground after a ‘large number’ of first team players and staff returned positive coronavirus tests.

Villa are due to face Liverpool in the FA Cup on Friday night but the game is in major doubt.

First team training for Dean Smith’s side was cancelled on Thursday and discussions are ongoing between the club, Football Association and the Premier League to determine the next steps.

A statement read: ‘Aston Villa can confirm that the Club has closed its Bodymoor Heath training ground after a significant Coronavirus outbreak.

‘A large number of first team players and staff returned positive tests after being routinely tested on Monday and immediately went into isolation.

‘A second round of testing was carried out immediately and produced more positive results today.

‘First team training ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup match with Liverpool was cancelled.

‘Discussions are ongoing between medical representatives of the Club, the Football Association and the Premier League.’

It’s highly unlikely Villa’s first team will be able to be involved and they could be thrown out of the competition due to a lack of ability to reschedule the tie before the fourth round.

However, it’s also possible that Smith could send the youth team to represent the club for the tie.

The same thing happened in reverse in the Carabao Cup last season.

With Liverpool involved in the Club World Cup, they decided to send a youthful side to face Villa in the quarter-finals. Villa won 5-0.

Villa may also struggle to fulfil their Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night, although that will be postponed if they can’t get a team out.

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