Newcastle United snapped a mini-skid Friday when it struck twice late to win at Crystal Palace.
The win is a bit more impressive than the Tyneside boys traveling to South London and handling the Eagles, as the Magpies are dealing with a spate of positive COVID-19 tests.
[ MORE: Crystal Palace 0-2 Newcastle ]
Without Allan Saint-Maximin due to a last-minute calf injury, Steve Bruce said three of his players and a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus. Jamaal Lascelles, Emil Krafth, and Isaac Hayden all missed out on the win at Selhurst Park, with teenager Elliott Anderson inserted into the 18 while Ciaran Clark got a rare start.
“We’ve got three confirmed players, and, unfortunately, a member of my staff. So, of course, it is a concern, and difficult to manage. … We’re trying our utmost to safe as safe as we can. My concern isn’t just the welfare of the players, which is vitally important, it’s members of my staff too. We’ll do our best, but it’s difficult at the moment.”
Newcastle has surprised in beating Everton while drawing Wolves and Spurs, though the latter result was more of a fluky penalty, but wins at West Ham and Palace are legit feathers in their cap (even if the Eagles were without Wilfried Zaha, who also was quarantining after a positive COVID-19 test).
Aston Villa away will be followed by West Bromwich Albion home, Leeds away, and Fulham at St. James’ Park before a League Cup tie at Brentford. A healthier Magpies side might go a long way to sealing their PL status early but injuries and sickness could have an opposite effect for Bruce’s men.