Newcastle have confirmed that their game against Aston Villa on Friday has been postponed, following a coronavirus outbreak in the squad.
A significant number of players and staff have been forced into isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, with the Magpies’ training ground being closed earlier this week.
Newcastle confirmed the news in a statement published on their website, which reads: “Newcastle United’s Premier League fixture at Aston Villa on Friday, 4th December has been postponed following a significant increase in Covid-19 cases at the Magpies’ Training Centre.
“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.
“The match, which was set to kick off at 8pm (GMT) on Friday evening, will now be rescheduled and a new date and time will be confirmed in due course. Newcastle United would like to thank Aston Villa Football Club for its understanding.”
The club went onto state that they would not be naming which players have tested positive for the virus out of respect of their privacy.
The news is the latest blow for Magpies boss Steve Bruce who has already had to deal with a string of injuries this season. Ryan Fraser, Martin Dubravka, Allan Saint-Maximin and five others were forced to sit out of Newcastle’s trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday, making their 2-0 win even more impressive.
Bruce’s side are set to play West Brom on 12 December but whether this fixture will take place on this date remains to be seen.