Following news earlier this week that Leicester City had been hit with a Covid-19 outbreak, their Europa League clash with Napoli is set to go ahead on Thursday evening.
Subsequently, the Foxes’ clash at the King Power on Sunday afternoon with Newcastle United is expected to go ahead despite seven first team players and three staff members testing positive for Covid at the Midlands club.
The positive cases haven’t travelled to Naples for the game this evening – Kelechi Iheanacho, Ademola Lookman, Daniel Amartey and Jannik Vestergaard are among those who were not on the plane.
Sky Sports News have reported the situation is not comparable with the one at Tottenham, but Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers did confirm ten positive cases ahead of their Europa League battle.
Should Leicester lose the European clash with Serie A title challengers, their hopes on proceeding to the knockout phase will hinge on the game between Legia Warsaw and Spartak Moscow, where the Foxes will be hoping that the former can pull off an upset and get a draw.
What does this mean for Newcastle United visit to the King Power Stadium?
The Foxes host Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday as the game is expected to go ahead as Leicester can field more than fourteen players and have more than one goalkeeper available.
The home side will want to bounce back from the frustrating 2-1 defeat at Villa Park on Sunday afternoon, while the Magpies head into the game with added momentum after their first win of the season over Burnley at St James’ Park.
A win could see the visitors move to up to 13 points and increase their chances of survival heading into the January transfer window. While the Foxes could move up as far as eighth with a victory.
Ahead of the clash Manager Brendan Rodgers said: “In general, you’re starting to see a few more cases and, for us, it’s always about the health of our players.”
“The players who were unwell who we could have maybe given 24 hours to feel better, we couldn’t take any risk with those, so we’ve kept them at home along with the other guys who were deemed positive,” Rodgers added.
On Monday morning the Premier League released its weekly Covid testing figures for the end of November where seven players are confirmed to have tested positive for the virus – with just sixteen positive tests since the middle of August.
In the Premier League, lateral flow tests are used initially and anyone who tests positive will then take a PCR test to confirm the result.
The 10-day period of self-isolation for anyone who tests positive means Leicester players hit by the outbreak are set to miss their next three games which includes Premier League battles with Newcastle and Spurs.
The Magpies travel to the King Power Stadium on Sunday on the back of their first Premier League win of the season last weekend.
Callum Wilson’s well taken strike in the first half gave Newcastle the win against Burnley at St James’ Park as Eddie Howe’s side look to build on the result ahead of the clash with the Foxes.
Leicester head into the clash following their disappointing 2-1 away defeat to Midlands rivals Villa, after winger Harvey Barnes took the lead for the Foxes early in the first half.
The news about the outbreak may significantly diminish the quality in Rodgers’ side as several first team players are set to miss out.
However big guns, Vardy, Ndidi, Tielemans and Maddison all make the starting line-up against Napoli and are expected to feature against the Magpies.
Newcastle United’s Premier League fixture at Aston Villa last December was postponed following a significant increase in Covid-19 cases at the Magpies’ Training Centre.
However, the fixture with Leicester on Sunday is set to go ahead as Newcastle look to build from their first win and are in desperate need of getting a result come 2pm.
What are NUFC’s chances on Sunday?
The Magpies will be hoping to build on the momentum gained by their first win and given news that Leicester might be weakened following the Covid-19 outbreak, they might fancy their chances.
The Foxes have conceded the most goals from set-piece situations in the Premier League with both Villa goals at the weekend coming this way.
However, a trip to the King Power is always a tough ask, particularly in Newcastle’s current predicament. But, positive result is not out of the question.
Leicester have been much weaker in defence compared to last season and they have failed to keep a clean sheet since the opening day of the campaign, conceding six more goals than at this stage last year. They have also conceded the most straight from corners (6), adding up to just under a quarter of their goals against total.
If Howe’s side can utilise some aerial prowess against the Foxes, then Newcastle could certainly get some joy in that department – something that they’ve no doubt been working on this week on the training pitch.
Only time will tell.
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Police Alerted After Newcastle United Fan Urinates On Statue Devoted to Sunderland Legend
Police have been alerted about social media footage which appears to show a Newcastle United fan urinating on a statue of Sunderland football legend Bob Stokoe.
The tribute, outside Sunderland’s Stadium of Light ground, recreates the late Stokoe’s famous dance across Wembley’s turf after he had masterminded the club’s 1-0 FA Cup final victory over Leeds United.
Footage has now emerged on social media of a male wearing a Newcastle United change shirt while apparently urinating on the statue.
In response to the images, a Sunderland Football Club spokesperson said on Monday: “This matter has been referred to the police and we will not be making any further comment at this moment in time.”
Stokoe, ironically, is also a hero and an FA Cup winner on Tyneside. Born in 1930 in Mickley, in Northumberland, the central defender made 261 appearances for Newcastle United and was a member of their 1955 FA Cup final winning team.
Arriving at Sunderland in November 1972 while they were struggling towards the bottom of Division Two, he plotted the club’s FA Cup final triumph in May the following year before guiding the Black Cats back to the top flight in 1976.
He resigned just months later following a poor start to their Division One. Stokoe died at the age of 73 in 2004 in Hartlepool after suffering from pneumonia.
Newcastle Fan Gets ‘Attacked’ by Aiden McGeady in Bar With Sunderland First Team
A video was published to Twitter which shows a Newcastle fan get ‘attacked’ by Aiden McGeady in a bar with the Sunderland first team.
Twitter user @rheppellhardy, who has since deleted his account following backlash, wrote a tweet on Wednesday night explaining what happened in a Stack venue, before the post started to gain traction.
He said: “Why the fuck has the actual Sunderland first team come and started on me and big Premier League Aiden McGeady ripped me top in the stack 🤣🤣🤣.
He issued the above video before captioning it with: “Someone who I’ve never heard of said how much are yous on ur skint 🤣 league 1 yina”
Again he wrote in another post: “Scuse me mate can a have a word, do you know who I am” 🤣🤣 No fucking clue mate”
There were plenty of reaction tweets too….
@worthy_noah: “I remember my first pint aswell mate”
@worthy_noah: “Not sure I went on like this much of a cock like”
@MackemTalk_: “You saw the state of you lad he’d Snap you in half But again You had to act like the Big man Because Your boyfriends where with you”
Did you see what happened?
Fans urged to clap at Newcastle match in memory of teen
Fans are being encouraged to clap at Newcastle match on Saturday in memory of teen who died from cancer.
Mason Kirk passed away suddenly from a rare form of cancer in January – ITV reports.
The family of the 17-year-old are urging people to clap at the 17th minute of the Newcastle vs Brighton match.
His dad Michael told ITV News Tyne Tees: “After complaining about back pain for several weeks and unsuccessful trips to a walk-in centre, and his GP, I took him to A&E where he received an MRI scan that showed lesions in his spine.
“We were transferred to the RVI, which is where we received a diagnosis no parent wants to hear – aggressive and inoperable late-stage ATRT cancer in his spine and brainstem”
“Mason died on the 27 January, just nine days after he was diagnosed.
“It’s took awhile for me to pull myself round (as I suffer from severe mental illness). So I decided to begin organising something to raise awareness of ATRT and teen cancer, and to pay tribute to our beautiful brave son.
“Mason was an avid Newcastle United fan, I took him to his first game when he was 6 and he caught the NUFC bug. Later, he and his friends bought season tickets.”
Michael continues: “Mason’s memory will live on through myself, his Mam Leanne, his little brother Alfy, cousin Liam and the rest of our family.
“He was the nucleus of our lives…our world is shattered but we cannot let our courageous son’s story go untold.”
“We realise things are tight for a lot of us at the minute but we’d like any donations to go to Great North Children’s Hospital or the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.”
ITV also said that Mason will feature in the programme.
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