Steve Bruce left with depleted Newcastle United squad after Covid-19 infections

Newcastle United's home game against West Bromwich Albion is set to go ahead – but Steve Bruce will have a depleted squad.

It had been closed since the squad left for the November 27 game against Crystal Palace due to an outbreak of Covid-19 cases at the club.

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It had been hoped to reopen the facility at the start of the week. However, the club, which has been liaising with Public Health England, was given the all-clear to restart training following a round of tests on Tuesday.

United have not confirmed the total number of cases, though Bruce revealed that three unnamed players – and one member of staff – were self-isolating before the Palace fixture, which Newcastle won 2-0. There were more cases reported over that weekend – and last week’s fixture against Aston Villa was postponed.

Newcastle yesterday issued a short statement confirming that training had restarted. It read: “The squad return to full group training following last week's temporary closure due to a rise in Covid-19 cases.”

A number of players are self-isolating – it has been claimed that up to 12 squad members will be unavailable – but club, which insisted last week that it has strictly followed all the Premier League’s Covid-19 protocols, is not understood to have asked the Premier League to postpone the fixture.

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The players who missed the Palace game because of positive tests are available, having isolated for 10 days.

St James's Park.St James's Park.
St James's Park.

Bruce – who has had Elliot Anderson and Dan Langley training with the senior squad this season – could call up Under-23 players.

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