Rafa Benitez expressed his disbelief that the game is to go ahead on Sunday at 3:00pm given the circumstances for the Toffees.
The ruling from the Premier League will sting even more given the fact that other games have been postponed including Leeds vs Liverpool and Watford vs West Ham.
Rafa Benitez expressed his surprise that Everton are being forced to play Burnley
The manager says he is struggling to find enough fit senior players for Sunday’s match
At a pre-game press conference, Benitez said: ‘Now I have to think whether I have 11 fit. I’m really surprised we are playing this game.’
On the day of the Chelsea game, Everton had no positive tests after players took lateral flows, but then PCR results showed four confirmed cases before another was added to that tally.
‘Burnley is totally different than Chelsea’, Benitez went on.
‘The reality is that we have to deal with a difficult situation. We have to wait until tomorrow, the day after, for injuries and covid and see which players are available.
Everton managed to come away from Chelsea with a draw in their last encounter
‘My main job now is to have 11 players who can compete in the right positions against Burnley. It is not easy.
‘We have 9 outfield players available plus three goalkeepers.’
Clubs have been told that if they can field 14 players then matches should go ahead.
For now, matches are still being played in front of supporters but that could yet change if the government alter the rules.
Premier League sides met and decided to keep pushing ahead with the season rather than pausing the campaign in light of the numerous positive cases at clubs around the country.
Jarrad Branthwaite (centre) scored Everton’s equaliser in their 1-1 draw against Chelsea
But the mishmash of clubs suffering different levels of Covid chaos is causing uneven competition and arguably threatening the integrity of this campaign.
Everton will feel hard done by with their game on Sunday going ahead as planned but Benitez will hope younger members of his squad can bail him out.
They excelled in the draw against Chelsea with Jarrad Branthwaite scoring the equalising goal.