A trip to Newcastle at Aston Villa on Friday is expected to be postponed due to an outbreak of Covid-19 at the club.
The match is in dialogue with the Newcastle Premier League over a possible postponement after their squad was told to stay away from their training ground after the carnivirus spread.
Over the weekend it was revealed that three of the first-team bubbles tested positive for the Covid-19, and additional players returned to the positive test after another round of testing on Sunday.
Newcastle declined to disclose the exact number or identity of the victims.
The club’s training ground has been closed since the weekend and the players have not trained since last Thursday – the day they traveled to London for their match with Crystal Palace.
The first-team squad has been told to stay home until further notice. Another round is scheduled for Wednesday.
Sky Sports News The Premier League has been told to deal with each situation on a case-by-case basis now, saying behind the previous outline about the epidemic that a team would be forced to play without 14 players.
At this stage Newcastle have not yet formally applied for a postponement of the match – but high-level talks are underway.
Newcastle are worried about not having time to prepare for the squad and they think it gives a problem.
They also have concerns about travel to different parts of the country and more potential infections.
If postponed, it would be the first Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle to show the result after the relaunch of the epidemic project.
Speaking after a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace in Selhurst Park on Friday night, Newcastle manager Steve Bruce said: “It’s worrying and difficult to manage. We’re doing our best to stay as safe as possible.”
“Of course my concern is not only the welfare of the players, which is very important, but also my staff. We will try our best but it is difficult at the moment.”
Coronavirus level: Newcastle fans could not be welcomed back
Newcastle are one of 10 clubs that fall into Level 3 of the government’s new coronavirus ban, which will take effect on December 2 and will deny fans the opportunity to take part in matches at St James’ Park.
Bruce said the return of fans was a “step in the right direction” but questioned why larger stadiums were not able to host large numbers of socially distant fans.
“I understand 4,000 fans [returning] If there’s an 8,000-seat stadium, what I can’t digest at the moment is just 4,000 or 2,000 because we’ve got the ability to comfortably accommodate somewhere in an area of 15,000 to 20,000 people, ”he said.
“It’s a step in the right direction and a small gesture. For small clubs 4,000 or 2,000 it’s a relief because they stay away from it.”