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Newcastle v Tottenham – 5 players struggling to be back in time from South America

1 week ago
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A new report on Wednesday morning claims that a number of players are in danger of missing the Newcastle v Tottenham match on Sunday 17 October.

However, rather than illness or injury, the concerns are centred around whether certain players will be back in good time from South America in order to be able to play.

The London Evening Standard reports that Premier League clubs have requested that their players are released early from international duty by various South American countries in order to definitely take part in the next round of Premier League fixtures.

The problem arises due to FIFA allowing three World Cup qualifiers to be played in this international break instead of the scheduled two, to help catch up with qualifiers postponed due to covid. In their qualification for Qatar 2022, teams in South America have to play 18 group games, far more than European countries.

Which has led to Premier League clubs asking if players can miss the third qualifier matches next week.

Tottenham would be the worst affected of Premier League clubs, with Argentine pair Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero, Colombia’s Davinson Sanchez and Brazilian defender Emerson Royal all in danger of missing the game at St James Park.

Interesting / amusing that the London Evening Standard totally fails to mention (or even realise / find out…) that Newcastle United are also one of the clubs potentially impacted by this.

Miguel Almiron and Paraguay have three World Cup qualifiers in October:

Paraguay v Argentina – Thursday 7 October

Chile v Paraguay –  Sunday 10 October

Bolivia v Paraguay – Thursday 14 October

That last one will end in Bolivia at around 11pm UK time on the Thursday night, only 65 hours before Newcastle v Tottenham kicks off.

As the report points out, the fact that TV broadcasters have moved the game to the Sunday at least gives players some chance of potentially making the Newcastle v Tottenham game, if the countries insist on players staying for the third qualifiers next week.

In his absence last month, Paraguay only picked up four points from three World Cup qualifiers without Miguel Almiron.

Paraguay dropped to sixth in the qualifying group and only the top four automatically go to Qatar, whilst the fifth goes into a play-off. So I would suggest zero chance of Paraguay releasing Almiron from the third qualifier against Bolivia, as it will be seen as a must win match against a team second bottom of the ten country group.

London Evening Standard report:

‘Tottenham fear they are losing the battle to have their four South American players released early from international duty so they can be ready for their next Premier League fixture against Newcastle.

Spurs are among the top-flight clubs still locked in talks with national associations over releasing their South American stars before next week’s final World Cup qualifier, with Aston Villa, Chelsea, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United also impacted.

Although no final decision has been reached, countries are currently refusing to sanction an early release, leaving clubs fearing their players could miss the first round of League fixtures after the break

Spurs would be the worst affected, with Argentine pair Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero, Colombia’s Davinson Sanchez and Brazilian defender Emerson Royal all called up.

However, there is an acknowledgement at Tottenham that they are in a more favourable position than some of their rivals because they face Newcastle in a 4.30pm kick-off on Sunday, potentially leaving time for the quartet to return to the UK and feature at St. James’ Park.

Argentina, Brazil and Colombia play the last of this month’s three qualifiers late on the Thursday night or in the early hours of Friday morning.’

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