Wilfried Zaha’s isolation period set to rule forward out of Newcastle clash – Luka Milivojevic still banned

BY SAM SMITH

Wilfried Zaha will miss Crystal Palace’s fixture against Newcastle United tomorrow as he continues to follow the Coronavirus protocols set by the Government and the Premier League.

The Eagles forward tested positive for the virus last week and is still completing his 10 days of self-isolation. It meant that he missed the South Londoners’ defeat at Burnley on Monday night.

Manager Roy Hodgson suggested after the 1-0 loss against the Clarets that the 27-year-old might return for tomorrow’s match but has now ruled him out.

Zaha will instead emerge from isolation on Saturday and will take another test. The Premier League guidelines state that players who test positive for COVID-19 must test negative before returning to training.

“He won’t be in contention for this (Newcastle game),” Hodgson revealed.

“He’s still got a few more days left to isolate. That will take him to Saturday when he will be tested again, and we will be hoping that the test will be negative because he’s been feeling okay which is often the case when people test positive. He’s had the virus, so we have to follow the procedures.

“Hes a very important player. It’s always the case when you have a player who hits the headlines for his club, in the way that Wilf has done for us, and like other players at other clubs who fall into the same category, it’s pretty normal when the team plays without that player and does not get a positive result that everyone talks about the man who is missing.”

Club captain Luka Milivojevic has finished his period of self-isolation in Serbia after testing positive during the international break.

The midfielder has returned to England and taken part in training – but Hodgson does not feel that the 29-year-old is fit enough to play against the Magpies.

Hodgson said of Milivojevic: “He’s done his period of isolation, he came back from Serbia and tested negative so he was given the go-ahead to train. He has trained with us this week.

“Obviously, he’s got a little bit still to catch up on, fitness wise. That’s fairly obvious for all those players who have to self-isolate.

“He’s looking good, he’s in good shape and he’s certainly fully recovered from the positive COVID test that he had. I’m seriously expecting him to be fit next time we play, but not tomorrow night.”


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