Aston Villa Suffer Covid-19 Postponement
It’s a been a bit of a stop-start few weeks for Aston Villa in terms of fixtures. First an international break meant they had to wait 13 days after they beat Arsenal 3-0 to play Brighton. After that 2-1 defeat, they had to wait nine days until the recent 2-1 loss against West Ham. Now with Friday’s Newcastle United game postponed due to their Covid-19 cases (see Premier League statement below), Villa will have a gap of 12 days until they play again, when they travel to Wolves.
It’s a frustrating time for Dean Smith and his players, who have been looking to get some rhythm going, after losing four of the last five games. Also, Villa now have two fixtures to rearrange and fit into an already crowded fixture schedule due to the delayed season.
Their season opener against Manchester City was also postponed meaning Villa have been playing catch-up since the season started.
On the bright side, the team will hopefully have Ross Barkley back when they play Newcastle on the new date (tbc), although Steve Bruce’s men will potentially be stronger having had a slew of injuries recently.
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Aston Villa issued the following statement regarding this week’s game being postponed.
Aston Villa Statement
Aston Villa can confirm that the Club fully supports the Premier League’s decision to postpone our fixture with Newcastle United on Friday following a significant COVID outbreak at the Tyneside club and the shutdown of their training ground by Public Health England.
We would like to thank both the Premier League Board and Newcastle United for their comprehensive and transparent communication during the process which resulted in this decision being reached.
Everybody at Aston Villa wishes a speedy recovery to all those at Newcastle United affected by the virus.
Premier League Statement
Following a Premier League Board meeting today, Newcastle United’s fixture at Aston Villa, due to be played at 8pm on Friday 4 December, has been postponed.
Newcastle lodged a request with the Premier League to rearrange the game following a significant increase in COVID-19 cases at the club. This resulted in Public Health England (PHE) advising that their training facilities be closed down. The Premier League Board agreed, as a consequence, the club are unable to train and adequately and safely prepare for their match on Friday.
The decision has been taken in consultation with Newcastle United and Aston Villa and following extensive consultation with PHE and Premier League medical advisors, with the health of players and staff the priority.
Newcastle correctly notified PHE regarding a number of positive COVID-19 test results, which is standard practice under Government and Premier League guidelines.
PHE convened a meeting with Newcastle and the Premier League yesterday to assess the situation and advised the club’s training ground should shut immediately and no group training would be permitted between players until Friday at the earliest.
All players and training ground staff will be re-tested this week and another meeting between the club, PHE and the Premier League will take place to assess the test results.
The Premier League wishes those with COVID-19 a safe and speedy recovery and will rearrange the postponed fixture against Aston Villa in due course.