Wolves' Nuno alarmed by COVID-19 case surge in English clubs

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FILE PHOTO: Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo during match against Burnley

(Reuters) - Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo is alarmed by the rising number of COVID-19 cases within English clubs and fears the situation will worsen.

Aston Villa's FA Cup third round-match against Liverpool on Friday is in doubt after Villa reported new COVID-19 cases in their squad while Shrewsbury Town's clash at Southampton will not go ahead after an outbreak at the third-tier team.

Four Premier League games and over 50 games in the English Football League - which governs the three divisions below the top flight - have been postponed so far this season.

"Unfortunately, it's going to happen more," Nuno was quoted as saying by the BBC, ahead of Friday's FA Cup third-round clash against Crystal Palace.

"Just look at the news. The expectations are terrible. It's going to get worse."

The Premier League on Tuesday returned 40 new COVID-19 cases - the highest in a week this season after two rounds of testing last week.

Players and staff at top-flight clubs are being tested twice a week after a highly infectious variant of the novel coronavirus led to a surge in cases across the country and forced the British government to announce a new national lockdown.

"In football we live in a bubble and don't always feel what society is feeling," Nuno added. "But it's tough for everyone. Players are only human and the rise in cases is scary."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Karishma Singh)