Aston Villa v Newcastle United game suspended due to rising COVID-19 cases at Magpies training center

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The week 11 Premier League clash between Newcastle United and Aston Villa won’t hold as initially scheduled after a significant increase in COVID-19 cases at the Magpies training ground.

Newcastle had recorded a 2-0 victory at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace on Monday while Aston Villa lost 2-1 to West Ham t the Olympic Stadium the same day.

Calum Wilson celebrates goal against Crystal Palace

The last clash between Aston Villa and Newcastle which took place last season in June ended in 1-1 at St James’ Park.

According to the latest coronavirus testing, the results of five Newcastle players and two staff members returned positive. This prompted the closure of the club’s training ground at Darsley Park on Monday and Tuesday. The match will now be rescheduled to a future date.

Newcastle training Centre closed due to rising cases of COVID-19

The latest development is following a request for postponement of the fixture by Newcastle, which the Premier League approved.

“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,” part od statement from Newcastle reads.

The club further noted that it has continued to ensure strict adherence to the laid down protocols. Despite previously experiencing only a very small number of isolated Covid-19 cases, positive test results have risen sharply in recent days.

“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 minimized.

“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.

“The club will not be naming individuals who have contracted Covid-19 and asks that their privacy is respected.”

Aston Villa shows support to Newcastle United over rising COVID-19 cases in their camp

It was gathered that Newcastle United was one of the first clubs in the country to close its training ground prior to the first national lockdown in March. They went on to introduce comprehensive Covid-19 protocols in line with Premier League and government guidance to protect its players and staff ahead of Project Restart.

Reacting to the development, Aston Villa said they “fully support” the Premier League’s decision to postpone the match.

“Everybody at Aston Villa wishes a speedy recovery to all those affected by the virus,” added the club.

This becomes the first Premier League fixture to be postponed this season because of Covid cases.

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce had on Friday revealed that three players and one member of staff had tested positive when his team won 2-0 at Crystal Palace.

Further cases, therefore, forced the Magpies to close the training ground on Monday on the advice of Public Health England North East (PHE) and remained closed on Tuesday.

The Premier League also agreed that Newcastle were unable to train and “safely prepare” for the match at Villa Park. Prompting them to grant approval for the postponement of the fixture.

“Following a Premier League Board meeting today, Newcastle United’s fixture at Aston Villa, due to be played at 20:00 GMT, Friday 4 December, has been postponed.

“Newcastle lodged a request with the Premier League to rearrange the game following a significant increase in COVID-19 cases at the club, which resulted in Public Health England North East (PHE) advising that their training facilities remain closed.

“The Premier League Board agreed, as a consequence, that the club are unable to train and adequately and safely prepare for their match on Friday,” part of the statement reads,

It is hoped that the cases at Newcastle would have reduced and they will be able to prepare for West Brom on Saturday, 12 December at home, before a trip to Leeds United four days later.