Newcastle United are “dangerously close” to not being able to field a full squad for a Premier League trip to Everton on Thursday, manager Eddie Howe said.
Newcastle were able to name just eight substitutes, including two goalkeepers, instead of nine highs for Monday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United, with the squad exhausted due to injuries and COVID-19 cases.
They also lost Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson to injury to United, adding to Howe’s selection problems.
“The guys gave it all, but we’re scarce in terms of bodies,” Howe said Sky Sports.
“These are difficult times for us. I think there are 13 plus a goalkeeper [players required for a game to proceed]. We will be dangerously close to that number.
“Callum’s injury doesn’t look good. Just the way he fell with no one around him. Allan, I don’t think it’s that bad.”
Newcastle have only won one of eight games with Howe and are penultimate in the Premier League.
Asked if he expects the game with Everton to go on, Howe later said: “I don’t know. We’ll see what the situation is like with the players we have.”
Unlike Newcastle who have played all of their top flight matches so far this month, Rafael Benitez’s side have seen two of December’s games – against Burnley and Leicester – canceled due to coronavirus cases.
What are the Premier League rules on postponements?
Following the postponement of a series of matches in the weeks leading up to Christmas, a new Premier League guide has been released explaining match postponement protocols.
And there, these factors are taken into consideration when deciding whether to postpone a top-level match:
- The impact of COVID-19 infections on a club’s squad, as well as injuries, illness and isolation, and the number of players available on the squad roster and any Under-21 players with appropriate experience. Where a club cannot field 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper either from its roster or from its suitably experienced Under-21 players, the match will be postponed.
- The status of any COVID-19 outbreak within a club, including the number of people affected, the sequence and source of infections, and their proximity to the match in question.
- The ability of a club to safely prepare their players for a match.
- Medical advice on any unacceptable risk to the health and safety of players and staff during the match.
- Any advice from the UK Health Safety Agency and other public bodies.
- Any other exceptional circumstances.
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