Sky Sports report Aston Villa v Newcastle ‘increasingly likely to be postponed’ – Up to 10 positive cases
The Aston Villa v Newcastle United match could be set to be the first Premier League game of the 2020/21 season to be postponed due to the virus.
With half a dozen Newcastle United players having already reported to have tested positive since last week, two new media reports on Tuesday afternoon bring news that is even more negative.
We were already at a stage where the training ground had been closed down until further notice, with players having missed training on Sunday and Monday and the NUFC squad not to be allowed back until it has been deep cleaned and the situation deemed safe enough for training to resume.
Now on Tuesday afternoon, with no news yet of training resuming, Sky Sports have brought an update.
Keith Downie covers Newcastle United for the broadcaster and he has now reported that his information is that Aston Villa v Newcastle is now ‘increasingly likely to be postponed’ on Friday.
Just ahead of that Sky Sports report, there was an exclusive from The Telegraph about the ongoing situation.
A bleak picture painted, with the newspaper reporting that their understanding is that Newcastle United are in talks with the Premier League and whilst they haven’t asked for it so far, they understand the club is going to ask imminently for a postponement, as the situation worsens.
The Telegraph say that their info is that the club believe that as many as 10 Newcastle United players are now infected, with NUFC fearing that number could still increase.
The newspaper add that as well as talking to the Premier League, the club are also liaising with the local authorities, including Newcastle City Council as regards to what the safest course of action is.
The Telegraph reporting:
‘Telegraph Sport has also learned that some of the family members of those who have been infected have also tested positive since the outbreak began over a week ago.
That also raises serious questions and the most pragmatic thing to do could be to allow the first-team squad to continue to self-isolate at home until the outbreak is under control. That would make it impossible for the squad to travel to Villa Park.’
The Premier League on the other hand will be trying their very best to make sure the match goes ahead, as once a precedent is set, other postponements are more likely to follow.
Ahead of the season, leaked documents showed that Premier League guidance for clubs was that so long as they had 14 players (or more) available, games should go ahead, with any Under 23 players who had even a minute of first team football being included in the number of available players.
Aston Villa already have an outstanding PL match against Man City to fit in, with the Premier League desperate to have no postponements as they attempt to complete a full league season that is a month shorter than normal already.
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