Wolverhampton Wanderers have seen their Boxing Day match against Watford called off, giving them a rest ahead of their clash with Arsenal.
Watford announced on Thursday that their Boxing Day trip to Wolves had been postponed as a result of Covid-19 cases in their camp.
Watford continue to have too many players out to fulfil the Wolves fixture, but they’re expected to face West Ham United on December 28th as players come out of isolation.
There’s no suggestion of any Covid-19 issue on Wolves’ end, as the club posted that it was a request by the visitors that got the game called off.
As a result, Wolves players are expected to be healthy and rested for their match against Arsenal on December 28th, less than 48 hours after Arsenal travel to Norwich for their Boxing Day game.
That’s a huge boost for the visitors to the Emirates Stadium. They’ll either play against a hugely rotated Arsenal side or a group of players that are still in the early stages of recovering from their last game, whilst their own team will be full strength.
To add insult to injury, Wolves are also in ongoing talks over the possibility of keeping Romain Saiss for the Arsenal game, before releasing him for AFCON.
The general expectation is that players will leave for AFCON on December 27th, meaning Arsenal would be without Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, and Mohamed Elneny, and Wolves should be without Saiss.
But the Premier League don’t have an official policy, so clubs are free to negotiate with the respective national football organisations to keep their players for a bit longer.