Newcastle game vs Aston Villa postponed due to Covid-19 outbreak

Newcastle squad told to stay away from their training ground following an outbreak of coronavirus. Another round of testing is due to take place on Wednesday. Fixture first Premier League match to be postponed since Project Restart

Newcastle's trip to Aston Villa on Friday has been postponed
Image: Newcastle's trip to Aston Villa on Friday has been postponed

Newcastle's trip to Aston Villa on Friday has been postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the club.

Newcastle had been in dialogue with the Premier League over the postponement of the match after their squad was told to stay away from their training ground following an outbreak of coronavirus.

A new date and time for the game, which was due to be shown live on Sky Sports, will be confirmed in due course.

A club statement read: "Several Newcastle United players and staff members are now self-isolating at home after returning positive test results in recent days and the club's training centre site has been temporarily closed in order to contain the spread of the virus.

"With the Magpies' first team currently unable to prepare for the match as a group, Newcastle United lodged a request with the Premier League to postpone the fixture at Villa Park, which has been approved by the Premier League Board.

Newcastle
Image: Newcastle United had five positive tests confirmed on Monday and their squad has been unable to train this week

"Accordingly, the club is now is working with Public Health England North East (PHE), local health authorities and the Premier League in line with Covid-19 protocols to identify the source of the outbreak and to ensure the risk of further transmission continues to be minimised.

"All players and training ground staff will be re-tested this week and a meeting between the club, Premier League and PHE will take place to assess the test results."

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Over the weekend it emerged that three individuals within the first-team bubble had tested positive for Covid-19 and, following a further round of testing on Sunday, additional players also returned positive tests.

Newcastle have been unwilling to reveal the exact numbers or identities of those affected.

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The club's training ground has been closed since the weekend and players have not trained since last Thursday - the day they travelled to London for their match with Crystal Palace.

The first-team squad has been told to stay at home until further notice. Another round of testing is due to take place on Wednesday.

Sky Sports News has been told the Premier League now deal with each situation on a case-by-case basis, following on the back of earlier guidance in the pandemic that said a team would be forced to play unless they had 14 players unavailable.

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Speaking after Friday night's 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, Newcastle manager Steve Bruce said: "It is a concern and difficult to manage. We are trying our utmost to make sure we try and stay as safe as we can.

"Of course my concern is not just the welfare of the players, which is vitally important, but my members of staff too. We will do our best but it is difficult at the moment."

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