Premier League waiting to hear if Leicester can play at home on Saturday amid tightened restrictions

The King Power Stadium falls within the city area marked out for tighter lockdown restrictions. Credit: AP

The Premier League is waiting to hear whether Leicester will be able to play at home this weekend - or for the foreseeable future - after the city was placed under tougher lockdown measures restrictions due to a spike in coronavirus cases.

The Foxes are due to host Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium on Saturday - but it is not yet clear whether, or where, the match will be played.

The stadium falls within the area marked out for stricter lockdown measures.

Non-essential shops in the city will be closed from Tuesday, it comes after Covid-19 cases in Leicester accounted for 10% of all nationwide positive tests over the past week.

The planned easing of restrictions across England on Saturday, such as the reopening of pubs and restaurants, will not take place in the city - with people having been advised against all but essential travel.

Leicester players file out at the King Power Stadium for an FA Cup game on 28 June. Credit: AP

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said the incident highlighted the fragility of the competition's Project Restart plans, but said contingencies were in place for such an occurrence.

"We have had a huge dialogue with the authorities about the concept of neutral venues," he told MPs at a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee evidence session on Tuesday morning.

Map showing the lockdown in Leicester. Red border indicates the lockdown area, black border is Leicester City Council, outside is Leicestershire County Council Credit: Crown Copyright/Ordnance Survey/PA

"If what is happening in Leicester – we're waiting to hear – does affect the club's ability to host home games – either the match on Saturday against Crystal Palace at 3pm – or subsequent matches, then we have the opportunity to put those matches elsewhere or postpone until a date when it is safe to do so.

"I'm yet to understand what the impact of the partial lockdown in Leicester is going to have on the club, but clearly it demonstrates the fragile project that we have on here.

"We can’t take it for granted."

Masters said there was a risk of the season not being completed if there were multiple lockdowns like this, and he said: "It is all dependent on the course of the virus.

"We have shown our flexibility to that, but we have to operate within government guidelines."

Leicester's manager Brendan Rodgers watches his players take on Brighton & Hove Albion at the King Power Stadium on June 23. Credit: AP

Leicester take on Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday night.

Leicester remain third in the table but now have just a one-point advantage over Chelsea after frustrating draws against Watford and Brighton since the restart.

The 2016 Premier League champions have a doubt over James Maddison, who missed the Chelsea loss in the FA Cup last weekend with a hip injury.