Premier League regulation rules Newcastle United star out of Chelsea game

Premier League rules will force the Newcastle United defender to sit out of the trip to Chelsea.

Newcastle United are unable to name Lewis Hall in their Premier League matchday squad against Chelsea tonight (kick-off 8pm).

Eddie Howe's men head to Stamford Bridge to face another rival for the European qualification spots, nine days after beating Wolverhampton Wanders at St James' Park. As it stands, the Magpies are in a battle with Manchester United, West Ham United, Wolves, Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea to finish between anywhere sixth and 11th.

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A win for United in West London will increase their advantage over Chelsea in the league table to seven points and perfectly set up another vital encounter at home to West Ham after the international break. Newcastle will hope to have Kieran Trippier back available for then after the right-back was ruled out of the next two matches because of a calf injury. He also won't feature in England's upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Belgium.

Newcastle United left-back Lewis Hall. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)Newcastle United left-back Lewis Hall. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Newcastle United left-back Lewis Hall. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

As mentioned, another player the Magpies will be without tonight is Lewis Hall, who is on a season-long loan from Chelsea before completing an expected permanent move this summer. Under Premier League rules, loan players aren't eligible to feature against their parent clubs.

That probably seems like an obvious statement but it's worth noting that Hall was named on the bench for the Carabao Cup quarter-final meeting at Stamford Bridge in December. However, EFL rules differ to the Premier League, and Hall was able to be included in the squad after Chelsea gave written consent.

The 19-year-old was ineligible for United's 4-1 win against the Blues on Tyneside in November and hasn't started a game since, with his last coming two weeks earlier in an away defeat to AFC Bournemouth. Hall has made 11 appearances this season, only four of which have been starts. His last outing altogether was as a substitute at home to Manchester City in January.

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While Newcastle's obligation to buy Hall for an initial £28million is subject to performance-related criteria, it is set to be triggered despite the the left-back lack of game time. It is understood the criteria is based on the club's league performance rather than the player's.

When asked on Friday if Hall signing permanently was 'nailed on' this summer, Howe said: "Yeah, I think so. That's why I'm preparing for him to be here long term and I'm delighted with that because he has many qualities that we're looking for. 

“In terms of my thinking, I’m preparing for Lewis to be at Newcastle for many years. He was always brought in with a long-term view, not a short-term signing. He is a long-term signing.

"We have always believed in him and his quality and we have been working really hard with him on his game. He’s a really talented lad. He’s got a couple of things to continue working on as all the players have. I believe in him. My vision for him is he will be at Newcastle for many years."

Hall's absence could see Matt Targett return to the squad for the first time since undergoing hamstring surgery in November. Howe also has the likes of Matt Ritchie and Paul Dummett to call on.

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