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FA Cup: Aston Villa to play Liverpool despite covid-19 outbreak

Aston Villa’s FA Cup third-round tie with Liverpool will go ahead on Friday despite a significant Covid-19 outbreak at the host club.

The Midlands club will field a  team mainly comprised of players from their Under-23 side so the outbreak can be contained within Villa’s first team.

Manager Dean Smith will not attend and Under-23 coach Mark Delaney will take charge of the game.

Villa closed their training base on Thursday because of the outbreak.

Those affected went into isolation and a second round of tests was carried out immediately, which produced more positive results on Thursday.

Premier League players returned 40 positive tests this week – more than double the previous weekly high.

Villa’s fixture with Liverpool is not the only third-round tie affected.

Southampton’s game against Shrewsbury on Sunday is off after a significant number of Shrews players and staff tested positive for coronavirus.

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