Newcastle United’s game against Aston Villa this weekend is in serious doubt after their entire first-team squad were told to isolate on Monday amid the growing COVID-19 outbreak.
The Magpies’ training ground will not open again until Wednesday at the very earliest according to the Guardian, who report a significant number of players and staff had tested positive.
Manager Steve Bruce had cancelled a planned training session on Sunday and a deep clean of the training ground was ordered after four players tested positive just 24 hours after the game with Crystal Palace.
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Should Saturday morning’s (AEDT) game with Aston Villa be postponed it will be the first to be rescheduled because of COVID-19 since the resumption of last season’s Premier League season.
However, due to the already demanding playing scheduled as a result of COVID-19, the Premier League will likely be reluctant to accept the request, given the knock-on implications it will have for the rest of the league.
Aston Villa have already played a game less than the majority of the Premier League clubs after their season start was delayed a week later than everyone else as Manchester United and Manchester City were still playing in Europe.
The general rule is that a game will still be made to go ahead as long as a starting XI plus three substitutes are available, despite Bruce’s concerns over the increased risk of injuries.