Chelsea’s Women’s Super League match against Tottenham on Friday has been postponed due to a combination of Covid-19 cases and injuries in Emma Hayes’ squad.
The postponement of the London derby followed confirmation earlier on Wednesday that Manchester United’s WSL trip to West Ham on Sunday has also been called off, due to an outbreak in the Hammers squad.
Both matches were set to be shown live on Sky Sports as the WSL returns from the winter break, but will now be played at a later date.
It is the second WSL game in a row that has been postponed for both Chelsea and West Ham, after their meeting in the final round of fixtures before the winter break was called off because of Covid-19 cases in the Blues squad.
A Chelsea statement said: “Chelsea FC can confirm that Friday’s fixture against Tottenham Hotspur Women will be rescheduled.
“The decision was agreed between both teams and the FA after a number of positive tests for Covid-19 were returned within the Chelsea FC Women’s team set-up after the last round of testing, combined with a number of players that are unavailable for selection due to injury.
“Those who returned positive tests immediately began a period of self-isolation in accordance with Public Health England and Government guidelines.”
The champions would have been looking to close the gap on leaders Arsenal, who will now have the opportunity to go seven points clear when they travel to Birmingham on Sunday.
A club statement from West Ham said: “West Ham United Women can confirm that Sunday’s Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture against Manchester United Women has been postponed.
“The decision was agreed between both teams and the FA due to a number of suspected positive COVID-19 cases amongst our players and staff.
“Following the postponement of the fixture, West Ham United Women can confirm that all general admission tickets purchased for the match will remain valid for the rescheduled fixture.”
WSL & Championship record 40 positive COVID-19 cases
The FA has also confirmed 40 players and staff from across the WSL and Women’s Championship have tested positive for Covid-19 in the seven days up to and including January 3.
An FA statement read: “Between 28 December 2021 and 3 January 2022, there were 40 positive COVID-19 tests across the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship.
“The FA is continuing to work with clubs to help mitigate the risks of COVID-19 within their squads, and ensure that players, coaches and staff are kept safe.
“To ensure transparency, The FA will recommence the releasing of results each week across both the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship.
“At no point will specific details relating to any club, player or staff member be communicated by The FA.”
Skinner on Man Utd improvement, England prospects & January transfers
In an exclusive chat with Sky Sports News’ Anton Toloui ahead of the new year, Marc Skinner chatted Manchester United Women improvement, England Women prospects and January transfers.
He said: “I think we have a lot of good players, but the best teams win. We’re trying to build a culture here where the team is the most important and not the individual. The individuals shine and show their qualities but for us, we want to build that togetherness where everybody wants to work for everybody.
“It’s such a shame because other results have sometimes marred performances at times. We’ve not performed excellently in every game, but in the majority of games, we’ve been on top and not been as ruthless as we need to be. The one thing I want to remind this group is to be ruthless in both boxes.
“We are trying to be active in this window if the right players come up that will match the kind of level of performance, as well as the good personality. I want this team to be so tight knit.
“I do understand the American market, it is something I will definitely be looking at when we look to recruit, but it has to be the right person and it has to be the right time.
“I feel in the women’s game that there are so many untapped talent streams that you can look at and say ‘she can be really talented in a different setting’ and that’s the beauty. As our game grows more throughout Europe and throughout England, even players in the Championship, there will be players who can step up, they just need the opportunity to do that.
“We have cast our net wide and we will then narrow in. Over the next few weeks, we will tap away at who we want in. but we’ll be rigorous and laser-focused on the right people in this window. If they become available, we’ve been given the support of the club to go and get the players that we feel can make the difference.”
How to follow the WSL on Sky Sports
The Barclays FA Women’s Super League has a new home this season on Sky Sports with up to 35 games shown exclusively live. The deal covers the next three seasons and has seen the WSL added to Sky Sports’ flagship offerings.
The current Sky Sports Barclays FA WSL presenter line-up is led by presenter Caroline Barker and includes expert pundit Karen Carney and reporter Lynsey Hooper with commentators Jacqui Oatley and Seb Hutchinson. Jessica Creighton also hosts the Inside the WSL show, aired every Thursday.
Here’s how to follow across Sky Sports:
Sky Sports – All 35 games will be available across Sky Sports’ flagship channels, including Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event.
Sky Sports News – Running 24 hours a day, seven days a week Barclays FA WSL fans can enjoy Sky Sports News (channel 409) rolling editorial coverage of the league and its storylines throughout the season.
Inside the WSL – Hosted by award-winning broadcaster and journalist Jessica Creighton, Inside the WSL is a comprehensive round-up of all things Barclays FA Women’s Super League and women’s football. Airing weekly from Thursday, September 9 on Sky Sports Premier League, the half an hour show will review and preview matches, include in-depth analysis and exclusive player interviews. Viewers can expect gripping behind-the-scenes access as well as a summary of all the action both on and off the pitch.
Sky Sports Digital – Keep up with the latest analysis, features and interviews on the Sky Sports app and SkySports.com. Follow action from each game and stay up-to-date with the latest scores, plus in-game clips and free match highlights available.
Sky Sports Social – Alongside coverage and visibility for the league across all Sky Sports’ main social media channels, a new bespoke Twitter channel @SkySportsWSL will be the home of all Barclays FA WSL content on Sky Sports.
Sky Showcase – All Sky customers will benefit from being able to watch the opening weekend fixtures on Sky Showcase (channel 106) without a Sky Sports subscription. This newly branded channel is designed to curate some of the top shows, films and sports from across Sky’s channels and will highlight Sky Sports’ coverage of Manchester United vs Reading on Friday, September 3 at 7pm, followed by Arsenal vs Chelsea on Sunday, September 5 at 11.30am for the opening weekend.
Source : Sky Sports