Arsenal have already played their final fixture of 2021.
The 5-0 thrashing of Norwich City on Boxing Day was initially supposed to be the Gunners’ penultimate game of the calendar year.
However, a few hours after the win at Carrow Road it was announced that Arsenal’s fixture against Wolves had been postponed following fresh COVID-19 cases and injuries in the visitors’ camp.
A statement via the club’s official website read: “We are disappointed to announce that our Premier League fixture against Wolves on Tuesday, December 28 has been postponed due to a number of the Wolves squad testing positive for COVID-19.
“This game will be rescheduled in due course and any tickets and/or hospitality packages purchased for this fixture will be valid for the rescheduled date.”
As a result, the next time Arsenal are due to be in action is on New Year’s Day when they welcome current Premier League leaders Manchester City to the Emirates Stadium.
Now, just like Wolves, the Gunners have reported a number of positive COVID-19 cases in recent weeks and were without as many as four players because of it against Norwich.
Given the latter was in training as recently as December 20, and coupled with the new isolation guidance, he would have been in line to return against Wolves provided his two lateral flow tests came back negative.
The new self-isolation guidance came into effect on December 22 with those who test positive for COVID-19 now able to quarantine for seven days instead of 10.
But only if the following conditions are met.
A statement via the NHS website reads: “You can stop self-isolating after 7 days if you do a rapid lateral flow test on days 6 and 7 of your self-isolation period and:
- both tests are negative
- you did both tests at least 24 hours apart
- you do not have a high temperature
“If you do a rapid lateral flow test on day 6 and test positive, wait 24 hours before you do the next test.”
As Premier League sides are required to do polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests the day before a game, the fact that the results do not come back until matchday means the only scenario that will allow any of the aforementioned trio to play against Man City is two negative tests including one on the morning of the game.
With that said, the good news is that Chambers should certainly be in contention to return to the matchday squad as his self-isolation period is set to end before the end of the calendar year.
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