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More matches postponed due to impact of storm leaving grounds wrecked

The FA Cup Third Round ties which are at risk of being postponed have been revealed with a rise in Covid cases and training grounds shut.

It’s set to be one of the most exciting rounds of the FA Cup we’ve ever seen with various non league sides getting drawn within the top two tiers of English football.

However, just like we have seen with league fixtures up and down the country, we have seen a rising number of postponements and it’s not just down to Covid.

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Snow, heavy rain and frozen pitches are just some among the weather warnings that has plastered the map of England, even leaving some non league grounds underwater over the festive period.

A number of first-team staff members and players have tested positive this week.

On the day that Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced another national lockdown, Derby have confirmed “several” first-team staff members and players have tested positive.

The club have now closed their Moor Farm training ground with immediate effect.

A club statement read: "In addition, the club is in dialogue with the EFL and Football Association in relation to upcoming fixtures.

"This decision has been taken to prevent the spread of the virus and protect club employees and their family members.

"Derby County would like to wish the individuals that have returned a positive COVID-19 test result a quick and safe return to full health."

Championship club Sheffield Wednesday have closed their training ground as a "precautionary measure", following a coronavirus outbreak.

There is no confirmation of how many cases have been detected, or if they are staff or players.

The club will take Coronavirus tests as required by the EFL in the next 48 hours.

Players are training at home, before getting tested on Wednesday and then hope to have the training ground open on Thursday, giving them two days of training together in the same place.

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Wigan’s next two League One fixtures against AFC Wimbledon and Hull City have been postponed, with the club having informed the EFL that it cannot fulfil the fixtures due to a number of positive Covid-19 cases at the club.

The Latics said in a statement: "Wigan Athletic’s next two Sky Bet League One fixtures against AFC Wimbledon (Wednesday 6 January) and Hull City (Saturday 9 January) have been suspended.

"We informed the EFL that we would be unable to fulfil our next two fixtures following several positive COVID-19 tests and the requirements for our players and staff to self-isolate as per EFL and government guidance, in order to mitigate against the risk of further infection.

"We now wish for a safe and speedy recovery to all those who are affected."

Bristol, City’s trip to Brentford on Saturday was cancelled after Robins players showed Covid-19 symptoms.

With a 10-day self-isolation period potentially required, it raises reasonable doubt over whether their game with Pompey will be fulfilled.

Blues’ chief executive Mark Catlin said: ‘I can’t predict whether the game will go ahead on Sunday, I would like to think so.

‘The FA have made it clear that even if you played with a team of youth-team players, they want the game to go on.

‘We are hopeful that, at this moment in time, it will happen. Although that is a matter for Bristol City rather than Pompey.

‘Look at some of the earlier rounds when teams wanted to call the game off with coronavirus. In response, those teams were ejected from the competition by the FA.

‘The FA have been clear that – due to the time restraints of the current league position – games have to take place on the day they are designated.

‘Even if you have to field a youth team, that is what you have to do to get the match on.

‘Nothing I have seen has changed that. It seems to be the message coming from the FA.

‘Let’s hope Bristol City and other clubs are okay for this weekend, including ourselves.

‘While I am sat here at this moment saying we appear to be covid free, things can change within 48 hours, as we have seen.’

Chelsea's FA Cup tie with Morecambe on Sunday is expected to go ahead, with the League Two side due back from 10-days in isolation on Wednesday.

Morecambe have not played since Boxing Day following an outbreak of coronavirus which raised doubts over their trip to Stamford Bridge. Though the squad are expected to return to training, provided a fresh round of testing gives them the all-clear.

Every club in the competition will undergo coronavirus testing 72 hours before their FA Cup tie. If the game can't be played the situation will be reviewed by the FA, who are paying for the tests.

Spurs have been in contact with Marine over Covid-19 protocols as standard. Marine players and staff haven't been tested regularly due to their season being halted.

Here's some of the games that have been postponed or are at threat of doing so below...

Stockport County v Eastleigh - Tue 5 Jan POSTPONED
Spennymoor v Hereford - Tue 5 Jan POSTPONED
Billericay v Oxford City - Tue 5 Jan POSTPONED
Dulwich v Maidstone - Tue 5 Jan POSTPONED
Hampton & Richmond v Slough - Tue 5 Jan POSTPONED
Hungerford v Havant - Tue 5 Jan POSTPONED
Wimbledon v Wigan - Wed 6 Jan POSTPONED
Sunderland v Fleetwood - Sat 9 Jan POSTPONED
Wigan v Hull - Sat 9 Jan POSTPONED
Dover v Weymouth - Sat 9 Jan POSTPONED
Wrexham v Woking - Sat 9 Jan POSTPONED
Eastleigh v Notts County - Sat 9 Jan POSTPONED
Guiseley v Curzon Ashton - Sat 9 Jan POSTPONED
Dulwich v Slough - Sat 9 Jan POSTPONED
Tonbridge v Bath - Sat 9 Jan POSTPONED
Exeter v Sheffield Wednesday - Sat 9 Jan IN DOUBT
Chorley v Derby - Sat 9 Jan IN DOUBT
Bristol City v Portsmouth - Sun 10 Jan IN DOUBT
Eastleigh v Wrexham - Tue 12 Jan POSTPONED

SET TO GO AHEAD AFTER RECENT COVID POSTPONEMENTS
Morecambe v Chelsea
Luton v Reading
QPR v Fulham
Stockport v West Ham
Southampton v Shrewsbury
Blackburn v Doncaster

In a briefing to competing teams, the Football Association have insisted the FA Cup has to continue and cannot be delayed; the FA are paying for testing for all non-Premier League sides ahead of the competition's third-round ties.

The FA have insisted the FA Cup has to go on, with rescheduling matches for a later date not considered straightforward with an already congested fixture list.

Teams should field a team if they have at least 14 fit players, and they do not necessarily have to be from the first team, but across the squad as a whole.

Any club that cannot field a team will have to make an application to the FA stating its reasons for being unable to fulfil the fixture.

An application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but it could result in a side having to forfeit the game and losing their place in the competition.

Leyton Orient have already seen them get booted out of the Carabao Cup following an outbreak of Covid-19 in the squad, with Spurs given a bye into the next round of the competition.

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