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News & Comment

Big freeze wipes out Sunday clashes

The Barclays Premier League clash between title rivals Chelsea and Manchester United was the most high-profile casualty of this weekend's snow and freezing temperatures as all of tomorrow's top flight fixtures were postponed today.

After today's Barclays Premier League matches at Arsenal, Wigan, Liverpool and Birmingham all fell foul of the weather, the showdown in west London was also scuppered.

Blackpool's match at home to Tottenham was the latest to succumb this afternoon and tomorrow's third and final Premier League clash, the Black Country derby between West Brom and Wolves, was then postponed on "safety grounds".

Chelsea cited heavy snow in the capital, saying in a statement: "Sunday's game at Stamford Bridge has been postponed following consultation with the police and the local authority.

"There has been heavy snow in London on Saturday."

Wigan's home match against Aston Villa at the DW Stadium and Liverpool's game against Fulham were both postponed due to heavy overnight snow.

Birmingham's clash with Newcastle joined them on the casualty list just before noon on safety grounds before Arsenal also admitted defeat ahead of their match against Stoke.

In the npower Championship, Cardiff's match against Burnley fell foul of the latest big freeze last night following heavy snowfall in south Wales.

Portsmouth's game against Scunthorpe became the second Championship match of the weekend to fall victim to the snow - the south coast club's second postponement in two weeks after ice and snow accounted for their clash with Burnley.

It was later joined by Watford's game against Preston due to heavy snowfall at Vicarage Road and Millwall's home game with Barnsley.

Exeter's home game against Sheffield Wednesday was the last game to survive in League One and Two.

In Scotland, Hamilton's home game against Celtic today became the fourth casualty in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League after the Rangers-St Mirren, Aberdeen-Motherwell and St Johnstone-Dundee United clashes were postponed yesterday.

Ten other games in the Scottish leagues have also been called off.

Newcastle's Amlin Challenge Cup game against Exeter tomorrow has been moved 70 miles from a frozen Kingston Park to Galashiels in the Scottish borders.

The switch followed a pitch inspection by European Rugby Cup officials.

The Netherdale ground has undersoil heating, and it became the only viable option despite other venues in the north-east and Cumbria being considered.

The weather is also playing havoc with racing, with all but one of today's meetings definitely off.

Lingfield was called off after a 10am inspection this morning, joining Ascot, Newcastle and Haydock on today's casualty list.

Carlisle's meeting tomorrow has also already bitten the dust, along with racing at Taunton on Monday.

There is better news for Southwell, though, where no inspection is planned.

Today's British Basketball League games between Guildford Heat and Newcastle Eagles and Worcester Wolves against MK Lions were also postponed, as was tomorrow's Glasgow Rocks v Worcester clash.