Newcastle missing “big chunk” of players for West Brom post-COVID-19 outbreak

What did Steve Bruce say on Friday?

Bruce discussed availability ahead of Saturday’s game and said: “We have far more than we had on Monday. Some have had it and it has now left them. We have enough to pick a team.

“I’ve got enough to pick 11. But we will be without a big chunk of players.

“On Monday, the results came back negative for everybody concerned. On Wednesday, there was another negative set, and that opened up the training ground. And since then, people who’ve had COVID and recovered from it, have also come back into the fold.”

What was the situation at Newcastle?

Newcastle’s training ground was closed on Friday, November 27 in an effort to control a COVID-19 outbreak at the club after a “significant increase” in cases was identified.

Their game against Aston Villa last Friday night was also called off due to concerns over the spread.

But on Tuesday, they were welcomed back to the training ground, with group training recommencing on Wednesday.

Did Bruce expect the game to be off?

Bruce indicated he had doubts about the game going ahead, saying: “If you’d asked me last Monday I wouldn’t think this game would be on. But everyone has been tested twice since Monday and proved negative.”

Who were Newcastle’s non-COVID-19 injury doubts?

Newcastle were without Jamal Lascelles, Allan Saint-Maximin, Isaac Hayden and Ryan Fraser for the win over Crystal Palace two weeks ago, but the quartet are nearing a return to fitness.

Long-term absentees Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle are also thought to be close to a return.

When will the Aston Villa match be rescheduled?

Newcastle’s postponed match against Aston Villa is the first Premier League fixture this season to have fallen casualty to a COVID-19 outbreak.

It has yet to be announced when the postponed match will be rescheduled for.

(Photo: Newcastle United/Getty Images)

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