Everton v Newcastle United: Premier League match in doubt as Eddie Howe confirms Covid-19 cases and injuries
Eddie Howe confirmed members of his Newcastle United’s squad have been hit with Covid-19 prior to the draw with Manchester United - and admitted he doesn’t know if the Everton game will go ahead.
The Magpies head coach made six changes to his starting XI against Manchester United, which earned a 1-1 draw under the lights at St James’ Park.
Ciaran Clark, Matt Ritchie, Joe Willock and Karl Darlow were all absent from the matchday squad, as was Isaac Hayden, who served a one-match suspension.
United were forced to name two goalkeepers on the bench - Freddie Woodman and Mark Gillespie. Young duo Elliot Anderson and Joe White also watched on.
Paul Dummett (calf), Federico Fernandez (thigh) and Jamal Lewis (hamstring) had already been ruled out prior to kick-off through injury.
To add to United’s woes even further, attacking stars Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin were also forced off with injuries against the Red Devils.
It leaves Howe’s side light of bodies ahead of the visit to Goodison Park on Thursday night. Newcastle have reportedly asked for the match to be postponed.
The Toffees, managed by former Toon boss Rafa Benitez, saw their Boxing Day clash with Burnley postponed due to injuries and positive Covid-19 cases.
‘Simple process of just counting the players’
“There is Covid in the camp, yes,” Howe confirmed. “We need to count the cost of tonight and see where we are.
“We will count the bodies up and see whether we have enough to play the game.
“I don’t know, we will try to get the game on.
“We will see where we are with the injured players and with the Covid in the camp.
“From there, it is a simple process of just counting the players.”
Howe, when speaking to Sky Sports after the match, added: “I believe it’s 13 plus a goalkeeper (to have enough players for a game).
“We’re going to be dangerously close to that number.”