Another one off! Southampton v Newcastle is the EIGHTEENTH Premier League game postponed by a Covid outbreak, as clubs row over whether injuries can be included in numbers of players available
- The Premier League have confirmed that Southampton v Newcastle is off
- Eddie Howe’s side has been decimated by Covid cases as well as injuries
- Top-flight clubs are rowing over if injuries should be included in absentees
- Premier League clubs are required to have 13 players plus a goalkeeper to play
Newcastle’s trip to Southampton on Sunday has become the latest Premier League fixture postponed due to Covid and injury issues.
Newcastle have been successful in their bid to get the game called off after Eddie Howe was left with a depleted squad.
It follows them also having their trip to Everton on Thursday night postponed.
Newcastle were only able to name eight substitutes, which included two goalkeepers, rather than the allowed nine for Monday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
During the game they then lost attackers Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Ryan Fraser to injuries.
The St Mary’s meeting is the 18th Premier League game to have been postponed in the last three weeks.
Newcastle have had their trip to Southampton postponed with Eddie Howe’s side decimated with Covid cases and serious injuries including Callum Wilson (pictured vs Man United)
The Magpies saw Allan Saint-Maximin limp off injured to add to a growing injury and Covid list
A Premier League statement read: ‘Newcastle United continue to have ongoing COVID-19 cases and injuries that led to their match against Everton FC being called off earlier this week.
‘The Board accepted the postponement application as the club does not have the required number of players available for the match (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper).
‘The Board was able to make its decision in advance of the fixture to give clarity to the affected clubs and their fans. We apologise for the inconvenience and disruption caused to supporters’ festive plans.’
This week Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl became the latest to question why injuries are being taken into consideration when calling off games.
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is the latest to complain about recent cancellations
Teams were told earlier this month that if they have 13 fit players and a goalkeeper their games will go ahead – but there have been a number of cancellations in recent weeks due to ‘insufficient’ squads.
‘Injuries are not Covid cases,’ Hasenhuttl said. ‘They had seven or eight players on the bench during their last game and now they have two more injuries.
‘They should still have 13 players plus one (goalkeeper), this is the message from the Premier League.’
Liverpool are facing another possible Covid outbreak with Jurgen Klopp revealing on Friday that three more members of his squad have tested positive.
It comes 48 hours before the Reds are due to travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Premier League title rivals Chelsea, who are also in the midst of a crisis due to an overload of Covid cases and injuries.
The German said: ‘We have three new Covid cases in the team, more in the staff.
‘I’m not able to say (who has tested positive) because we still need to do a PCR but you’ll see tomorrow on the team sheet, it’ll be clear.
Jurgen Klopp has revealed three more Liverpool players have tested positive for Covid
‘Not yet (close to asking for the fixture to be postponed). We never had this proper outbreak yet, it’s more every day another one. It feels like a lottery in the morning when you wait for results.
‘It was now pretty much day by day one case, today another one and now we have to wait. The boys aren’t even in yet.
‘At the moment, probably not (likely to ask for the game to be postponed) but we are not sure how it’ll look like in a few hours.’
Gary Neville has been unimpressed on the postponement pile-up and called on Premier League clubs to ‘get on with it’ and ‘trust their young players’ rather than seek fixture postponements amid the Covid-19 crisis.
‘The PL and EFL, in particular, have got to stop these cancellations unless in exceptional circumstances,’ he tweeted.
‘Each club has 40-50 players including youth team as a minimum. If it’s the Carabao Cup or EFL Trophy they find a team without fielding the first 11. It’s time for clubs to get on with it and trust their young players, unless in exceptional circumstances.’
David Moyes thinks there is a disadvantage for his side having youngsters with experience
West Ham boss David Moyes said his club would find it ‘nearly impossible’ to have a game called off as they have so many academy players with first-team experience, which he feels is unfair. He also cast doubt on the motivation of some clubs in requesting postponements.
‘I hope nobody is getting their games called off for injuries, because we would have called a few of ours off if that were the case,’ he said.
There was a record number of 103 new Covid positives recorded among top-flight players and staff this month.
The Premier League have responded by introducing a real-time tracker system in which clubs must provide information on Covid cases, isolation periods, injuries and player availability.
There is no risk of clubs running out of testing kits amid the nationwide shortage. The Premier League have paid Prenetics for private testing – daily lateral flows and twice-weekly PCRs – and testing tents have been assembled in most training-ground car parks.
EIGHTEEN POSTPONED GAMES
Brighton v Tottenham
Brentford v Manchester United
Burnley v Watford
Leicester v Tottenham
Manchester United v Brighton
Everton v Leicester
West Ham v Norwich
Watford v Crystal Palace
Southampton v Brentford
Aston Villa v Burnley
Leeds v Liverpool
Wolves v Watford
Burnley v Everton
Leeds v Aston Villa
Arsenal v Wolves
Everton v Newcastle
Leicester v Norwich
Southampton v Newcastle
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