Helsea’s home game against Liverpool this weekend has been postponed, along with two other top flight matches, due to the strain on police forces ahead of the Queen’s funeral in London next Monday.
Crystal Palace’s visit to Brighton on Saturday and Manchester United’s home match against Leeds on Sunday have also been postponed, leaving the Premier League with the huge headache of rescheduling a raft of games in a grueling and truncated campaign.
Brighton had already asked to postpone their derby against Palace due to a rail strike, which was called off after the Queen’s death on Thursday.
Chelsea, Liverpool and United are all set to play games in Europe in midweek — with the Blues’ Champions League home game against RB Salzburg set to go ahead as planned on Wednesday — but Palace now face, Brighton and Leeds go four weeks without a match, with the international break coming up next week.
All football matches were postponed last weekend as a mark of respect for Her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
Earlier on Monday, UEFA announced that Arsenal’s Europa League game at home against PSV Eindhoven had been canceled due to strain on police forces.
Brentford’s London derby against Arsenal on Sunday is tomorrow but has been moved to a 12pm kick-off from 14.15, while Everton will kick off 15 minutes later than originally planned, at 14.15.
The Queen’s body will lie in state at Westminster Hall from Wednesday until the funeral on Monday, when a further one million people are expected in the capital.
In a statement, the Premier League said: “Premier League fixtures will resume this weekend after a break in the season as a mark of respect following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“Seven of this weekend’s 10 Premier League fixtures will be played, with three games postponed due to events surrounding The Queen’s funeral.
“In addition, kick-off times will change for two Premier League games.
“The games postponed on Sunday 18 September are Chelsea FC’s game against Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge, and Manchester United’s game against Leeds United.
“Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s match against Crystal Palace FC, which will be played at 3pm on Saturday 17 September, remains postponed.
“Following extensive consultation with clubs, the police, the local Safety Advisory Group and other relevant authorities, there is no other option but to postpone the three fixtures.
“The Premier League would like to thank the UK Football Policing Unit and other police forces across the country, as well as our broadcast partners, for their support throughout this process, and will continue to engage with them before the end of the week.
“For matches played during National Mourning, tributes will be paid to The Queen at Premier League stadiums.
“New dates for the postponed matches will be announced in due course.”
Confirmed schedule for this weekend’s fixtures:
Friday 16 September
Aston Villa vs Southampton FC – kicks off 8pm BST
Nottingham Forest vs Fulham – 8pm
Saturday 17 September
Wolves vs Manchester City – 12.30pm
Newcastle vs Bournemouth – 3pm
Brighton vs Crystal Palace – Postponed
Tottenham vs Leicester – 5.30pm
Sunday 18 September
Brentford vs Arsenal FC – 12pm
Manchester United vs Leeds – Postponed
Everton vs West Ham – 2.15pm
Chelsea vs Liverpool FC – Postponed