Friday's match between Aston Villa and Newcastle has been postponed by the Premier League due to a significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases at Newcastle. It's the first postponement due to COVID-19 in the Premier League this season, and the league has yet to announce a make-up date. Aston Villa currently sit in 10th place while Newcastle United are in 13th.
The league announced the news Tuesday after Newcastle filed a request with the Premier League to reschedule the game following a recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases at the club. The request to cancel the game was made on public health grounds after the squad was hit by multiple positive tests, with uncertainty around how many more could develop.
The request resulted in Public Health England (PHE) advising that Newcastle's training facilities be closed down. Newcastle correctly notified PHE regarding a number of positive COVID-19 test results, which is standard practice under Government and Premier League guidelines. The Premier League Board agreed, and as a result of being unable to prepare or train for the upcoming fixture, the match was postponed.
The PHE, Premier League medical advisors, Aston Villa and Newcastle United were all involved as the decision was made with the health of players and staff the priority.
Aston Villa played to a hot start this season, but the side has has dropped its last two matches and is looking to swing back momentum on the impressive play of midfield player Jack Grealish. Newcastle, meanwhile, won their most-recent game, beating Crystal Palace last Friday.