Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed that 5 members of his first-team squad will be unavailable to take on Chelsea, having tested positive for Covid-19.
The major talking point across the Premier League landscape this week has of course surrounded the spike in positive Covid tests.
Outbreaks at both City and Fulham saw respective meetings with Everton and Tottenham postponed, just hours prior to kick-off.
Sheffield United have also confirmed a number of positive cases in the club’s playing squad, whilst Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was forced to sit out his side’s meeting with West Ham on Tuesday after coming into close contact with an individual who subsequently returned a positive test.
Sheffield United can confirm the club recorded a number of positive coronavirus tests after the latest round of testing.
The individuals who have tested positive have now entered into a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and Government guidelines.
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) December 29, 2020
Such concerning figures, in turn, have already resulted in suggestions that the Premier League campaign could be brought to a complete standstill, in an effort to get the situation back under control.
As things stand, however, the season is primed to continue as planned.
The marquee fixture of the upcoming gameweek, meanwhile, comes in the form of the showdown between Chelsea and Manchester City.
The heavyweights of English football are set to face off at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening, in a key matchup in the Premier League’s top-4 race.
This of course comes despite, as outlined above, a Covid outbreak at the Etihad.
Both Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker were forced to sit out City’s Boxing Day win over Newcastle, and remain sidelined as things stand.
As confirmed by Pep Guardiola during a press conference this afternoon, though, the pair have since been joined in self isolation by a further trio of Sky Blues stars, all of whom are set to miss out in southwest London in 48 hours’ time:
‘Five right now. Five players are isolating for 10 days. The first cases that were released it was two players and three more the second time.’
Interestingly, Guardiola refused to reveal the identities of the players in question, but hinted that all three will be sorely missed:
‘I don’t think the Premier League allow us to name the players. We have to respect the privacy of the players maybe. You will see the line-ups and three important players not there, so you will know exactly but I’m not allowed to tell you.’
Pep Guardiola has revealed Manchester City currently have five players unavailable for Sunday’s Premier League match at Chelsea because of positive coronavirus tests.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 1, 2021