MANCHESTER UNITED'S match with Brighton has been called off after a Covid outbreak saw the Red Devils left with just seven available players.
The teams were due to meet at Old Trafford in the lunch time kick-off on Saturday, but the game will now be re-arranged.
The Reds' Carrington training ground will also be closed again for a 'short period' to prevent further transmission.
A United statement read: "Manchester United can confirm our Premier League fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion, scheduled for Saturday 18 December at 12:30 GMT, has been postponed and will be rescheduled in due course.
"The health of players and staff is our priority.
"Given the number of players and support staff having to isolate due to COVID-19, the club had no option other than to request the match be rearranged.
"The Premier League Board took the decision to postpone based on guidance from medical advisors.
"We will also suspend football training operations at the Carrington Training Complex for a short period to help reduce risk of further transmission.
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"We regret any disappointment and inconvenience caused to fans by the postponement."
It is believed the Red Devils had 19 positive cases across players and staff, which forced the closure of their Carrington HQ on Tuesday.
And they would have only had seven available players for the Seagulls match, according to the Mail.
There were less United players at Carrington on Thursday than on Wednesday, according to the Manchester Evening News.
David De Gea, Marcus Rashford, Fred and Alex Telles were four of the players who trained at Carrington before it closed again.
SunSport reported yesterday that football's Covid crisis is spiralling out of control.
Burnley’s Premier League home match against Watford was called off Wednesday night less than THREE hours before kick-off — following an outbreak in the Hornets’ squad.
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Three Championship games scheduled for Saturday — Reading v Luton, Millwall against Preston and Swansea’s trip to QPR — have already been postponed.
And Prem chiefs also turned down requests from other top-flight clubs to scrap fixtures this week.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was fuming Thursday's home clash against Tottenham had NOT been called off — even accusing League bosses of showing bias towards the bigger clubs.
It has now been postponed.
On the day the UK recorded its highest number of daily Covid cases — 78,610 — since the beginning of the pandemic, several more Prem matches this weekend are under threat.
And there are serious fears this could wipe out the festive programme, leaving the sport in crisis.
Watford’s home clash against Crystal Palace on Saturday is in doubt as a result of Wednesday’s Turf Moor cancellation — due to the high number of first-team players involved.
Under League rules, matches should be played unless clubs have fewer than 14 first-team players. But exceptions are made, including having no fit keepers.
A final decision is taken by the Premier League board, with each call on a 'case-by-case' basis.
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Norwich — United’s opponents last Saturday — now have concerns over their trip to West Ham.
More and more clubs are keen on the idea of halting matches until January 8, according to ESPN.
That would rule our four rounds of Premier League fixtures – including this weekend.
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