Southampton v Newcastle United: Why has the Premier League fixture been postponed?

Newcastle United have been forced to postpone Premier League fixtures against Everton and Southampton due to positive Covid-19 cases and injuries.

<p>St Mary’s Stadium, the hime of Southampton FC. </p>

St Mary’s Stadium, the hime of Southampton FC.

Newcastle United’s match at Southampton on Sunday afternoon has been postponed after a request from the club was approved by the Premier League.

Positive Covid-19 cases and a mounting injury list forced Eddie Howe’s side to call off the trip to Everton on Thursday.

Unfortunately, the situation on Tyneside has not improved enough to fulfill the fixture against Ralph Hassenhuttl’s Saints - inflicting a second postponement in four days.

Premier League rules state if a club cannot field 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper from its squad list or its ‘appropriately experienced’ under-21 players due to COVID-19 infections, isolation and other injuries and illnesses, the match should be postponed.

Newcastle United’s club statement

A club statement from Newcastle read: “Sunday’s Premier League clash between Southampton and Newcastle United at St. Mary’s Stadium has been postponed due to ongoing Covid-19 cases and injuries amongst the Magpies’ first team squad.

“The match is the second successive Newcastle United fixture to be postponed following the cancellation of Thursday’s scheduled game at Everton, with several players and staff having succumbed to illness and injury over the festive period.

“In accordance with protocol, the Magpies submitted a separate request to the Premier League to postpone the trip to the south coast, and this has been approved by the Premier League Board.

“Both away fixtures will now be rescheduled and new dates and times will be confirmed in due course.

“Newcastle United once again thanks the respective clubs and the Premier League for their cooperation and understanding.

“The club also extends its sincere apologies to supporters affected by both postponements and asks them to retain their tickets.

“The club will not be naming individuals who have contracted Covid-19 or their vaccination status. We ask that their privacy is respected and we wish them a full and speedy recovery.”

Premier League statement

A Premier League spokesperson said: “Southampton’s match against Newcastle United at St Mary’s Stadium, due to be played at 14:00 BST on Sunday 2 January, has regrettably been postponed.

“Newcastle continue to have ongoing COVID-19 cases and injuries that led to their match against Everton being called off earlier this week.

“The Board accepted the postponement application as the club do not have the required number of players available for the match (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper).

“The Board was able to make its decision in advance of the fixture to give clarity to the affected clubs and their fans. We apologise for the inconvenience and disruption caused to supporters’ festive plans.

“The League is aware that the decisions recently to postpone matches will disappoint supporters and understands their frustrations at a special time of year when fans look forward to attending and watching football games.

“The League aims to provide as much clarity as possible but unfortunately postponements sometimes have to be made at short notice, as safety is our priority. Where possible, the League will endeavour to keep supporters updated if games become at risk on a matchday.”

Which Newcastle United players are believed to be missing?

Howe was forced into six changes for the 1-1 draw with Manchester United with the likes of Ciaran Clark, Matt Ritchie, Joe Willock and Karl Darlow absent from the matchday squad.

Callum Wilson (calf) and Isaac Hayden (knee) are known to have joined United’s growing injury in recent days, which already included Paul Dummett (calf), Federico Fernandez (thigh) and Jamal Lewis (hamstring).

Allan Saint-Maximin and Ryan Fraser also picked up knocks against Man United, though neither injury is thought to be too serious.

Javier Manquillo is suspended for Newcastle’s next game after reaching the five yellow cards limit.

When do Newcastle United play next?

Newcastle host Cambridge United in the FA Cup third round on January 8.

They will hope to return to Premier League a week later with Watford the visitors to St James’ Park on January 15.