Pep Guardiola reveals Manchester City have been hit by ‘some new Covid cases’ ahead of a huge clash with title rivals Chelsea after 20 players and staff were forced into isolation ahead of FA Cup win over Swindon
- Manchester City take on Chelsea on Saturday in a huge Premier League game
- Chelsea know they have to win or risk Pep Guardiola’s side walking away with the title
- Spaniard admitted there have been more positive tests among his players
- He praised Thomas Tuchel and says he is constantly learning
Pep Guardiola revealed that Manchester City have endured new cases of coronavirus ahead of Saturday’s title fight with Chelsea.
Guardiola and 20 other first-team players and staff were forced into self-isolation last week after a spate of positive cases.
John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Fernandinho all missed last week’s FA Cup victory in Swindon Town.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side take on Chelsea in Saturday’s early kick-off
City walk away in title race and Chelsea know the meaning of this match
The City manager was back for training on Thursday but suggested that City are not free from their breakout. Saturday’s game at the Etihad Stadium will go ahead as scheduled.
“We have some cases,” Guardiola said. “They want privacy, so I can’t tell you (who). Some come back, but some are positive again.’
Some rivals, including Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, are claiming City’s handling of Covid and injuries have proved the difference as the champions built a 10-point lead at the top.
“You mean we’re the smartest here in Manchester?” added Guardiola. ‘That Omicron isn’t coming to see us? We had many cases and many injuries.
Phil Foden and Co are 10 points away from Chelsea and 13 would certainly see them out of sight
“We are in the same situation as any other club. Injuries a little less because our medical department is exceptional, but we had a lot of Covid like the other clubs.
‘We are not smarter, wiser, or we do the protocols better. When the virus enters the bubble, everyone suffers. We are no exception.’
City can widen the gap between themselves and Chelsea to 13 points with a win this weekend and while Guardiola was eager to praise his players, he revealed the difficulties facing managers during the pandemic.
“We always kind of planned for the week ahead, but (now) we’re making decisions on the day,” he said. “It could be two hours before training or four hours before the game.”
Guardiola insists City are no exception and are struggling with the virus the same as others