Newcastle United have announced that their Gameweek 11 trip to Aston Villa has been postponed.
The match was originally scheduled for the evening of Friday, December 4 at 20:00 BST but a “significant increase” in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases at the Magpies’ Training Centre has forced the club to take action.
They report that “several” Newcastle players and staff members are now self-isolating after an upturn in positive tests over the last few days.
It has not been revealed which individuals have contracted the disease or when their respective isolations end at this stage.
Meanwhile, the knock-on impact on Gameweek 11 of Fantasy Premier League is similarly unclear.
What is certain is that the opening match of the round is no longer to take place on Friday, with Everton’s Saturday lunch-time trip to Burnley set to kick us off for Gameweek 11.
At this stage, it is unknown whether or not that game-makers at FPL Towers will change the deadline from 18:30 BST on Friday to 11:00 BST on Saturday, in line with it usually occurring 90 minutes before the first fixture of the Gameweek.
As for our squads, Jack Grealish (£7.7m), Callum Wilson (£6.5m), Emi Martínez (£4.8m) and Ollie Watkins (£6.1m) are among the key Fantasy assets with significant ownership at the time of writing.
While it could be tempting to shift as many of these as possible, or even trigger a Wildcard or Free Hit in response to the postponement, we urge patience and caution to Fantasy managers.
Both Aston Villa and Newcastle have a free midweek fixture slot in the week beginning Monday, December 7.
If the protocols and ever-changing situation at the two clubs allows, we could see this fixture rearranged either for Tuesday, December 8 or Wednesday, December 9.
If that were to be the case, then it would remain in Gameweek 11 and still count towards your next collection of points.
Such a scenario would not be without its complications, of course. Confirmation of the fixture’s new date could be short notice, and come after the Gameweek 11 deadline.
Meanwhile, even if the game is confirmed as going ahead before we have to submit our next squads, the likes of Wilson, Karl Darlow (£5.0m) and Jamal Lewis (£4.3m) could all be among those self-isolating, so we will have to wait for more information on those specifics too.
Furthermore, the Premier League has now confirmed that Newcastle’s training ground is to remain closed until “Friday at the earliest”, which could affect the timing of any rescheduling.