Everton hit by Covid-19 outbreak ahead of Newcastle United's visit to Goodison Park
The Premier League today said it had taken the “regrettable” decision to postpone the game at Turf Moor due to positive cases and injuries depleting Rafa Benitez’s squad to such an extend that the club was unable to fulfil the fixture.
It said in a statement: “The Board reviewed the club’s request today to postpone the match following further injuries to their squad.
"They concluded that the club will not be able to fulfil their fixture this weekend as a result of an insufficient number of players available to play due to Covid-19 cases and injuries.”
Newcastle, unaffected so far by the latest round of Covid-19 postponements, are due to play Everton at Goodison Park on December 30.
Former United manager Benitez had said yesterday that he was “surprised” the game had been expected to go ahead.
Everton endured a Covid-10 outbreak following the game against Chelsea on December 16, while a number of players, including Richarlison and Andros Townsend, are also sidelined with injuries.
Benitez said: “With the injuries and the positives that we have, we were expecting that the game would be postponed. Like in a lot of other games (to be postponed) to try and keep the integrity of the league, because you are losing so many players.”