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  • By Yann Tear

Covid concerns put paid to Man United visit to Brentford

Brentford v Man United is the latest fixture to succumb to the ravages of a fresh Covid-19 outbreak.

Manchester United reported a glut of positive tests following their weekend match at Norwich City and closed their Carrington training ground.

Brentford have apologised to fans for the disruption, but had no choice but to accept the decision to call it off.

“Health and safety of both clubs’ players and staff must always come first," the club said in a statement.

It will be a disappointment to those Bees fans who have waited patiently for a clash that has not taken place in west London for 74 years.

There was a League Cup tie between the teams at Old Trafford in 1976, which United won 2-1, but you have to go back to just after the war for the last encounter in west London – a 0-0 top-flight draw in April 1947.

And the last time Bees beat United was way back in 1938 – 2-0 in an FA Cup tie in February of that year - though they achieved a fine double in the 1936-37 campaign.

The match will take place in the new year on a date yet to be identified.

The call-off is one of several affecting London teams in the past week. Tottenham’s match at home to Rennes on Thursday was lost to an alarming Covid outbreak at the north London club. Spurs' game at Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday was also postponed.

And QPR’s visit to Sheffield United on Monday also had to be axed as the west London club reported an insufficient number of players to fulfil the fixture, owing to a high number of positive tests.

A total of 42 Premier League players and staff tested positive for Covid in the past week - the most recorded in the league in a seven-day period.

The league matches should find alternative dates but Spurs’ Europa Conference League postponement has the consequence of seeing them dumped out of the competition altogether – in all probability.

Because a new date before a December 31 deadline set by UEFA is impossible to find, Spurs are likely to be penalised as the ones unable to fulfil the fixture, with a 3-0 loss imposed for the default.

Their name was in the draw for the next round along with Vitesse Arnhem – where they have been paired with Rapid Vienna. But unless the Rennes fixture goes ahead in the new year and Tottenham win, Antonio Conte’s men will be eliminated.


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