Newcastle’s away game against Everton on Thursday was postponed due to injuries and Covid cases in Eddie Howe’s side.
Howe said on Monday that Newcastle were “dangerously close” to being unable to field a full squad for the match.
Newcastle were able to name just eight substitutes, including two goalkeepers, instead of nine highs for Monday’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United, with the squad exhausted from injuries and COVID-19 cases.
They also lost Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser to injury to United, while full-back Javier Manquillo received his fifth yellow card of the campaign, adding to Howe’s selection woes.
This is the first match Newcastle have postponed since the Omicron variant began wreaking havoc on the Premier League schedule in December.
The Magpies are next to last, two points from salvation, but have played four more games than the team above them, Burnley, also 11 points away.
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.
Which Premier League matches have been canceled?
Brighton-Tottenham – Sunday 12 December
Brentford vs Man Utd – Tuesday, December 14th
Burnley v Watford – Wednesday 15 December
Leicester vs Tottenham – Thursday 16 December
Man Utd vs Brighton – Saturday 18 December
Southampton vs Brentford – Saturday 18 December
Watford vs Crystal Palace – Saturday 18 December
West Ham vs Norwich – Saturday 18 December
Aston Villa vs Burnley – Saturday 18 December
Everton-Leicester – Sunday 19 December
Liverpool-Leeds – Sunday 26 December
Wolves versus Watford – Sunday 26 December
Burnley-Everton – Sunday 26 December
Leeds-Aston Villa – Tuesday December 28th
Arsenal vs Lupi – Tuesday December 28th
Everton vs Newcastle – Thursday 30 December
When could postponed games be played?
There currently appear to be 15 midweek slots where postponed matches could be played in the New Year, however, these often clash with Champions League and Europa League knockout rounds, as well as FA Cup and Carabao Cup draws.
There are a few options. Could the two-week Premier League winter break in late January and early February be canceled? Or will teams be asked to play beyond the last scheduled weekend of the season, May 22?
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