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Five Manchester City players to miss Chelsea game with Covid-19 as Guardiola hits back at Everton

01-Jan-2021, 09:32 pm

Pep Guardiola Manchester City

Manchester City will be without at least five first-team players for their Premier League clash with Chelsea, which is set to go-ahead despite a Covid-19 outbreak at the club.

Two staff members have also tested positive and City willhave two more sets of test results ahead of Sunday's clash.

Pep Guardiola says the Premier League have told them not to reveal the identities of the latest players to test positive for coronavirus.

"Five players are out right now," the City boss told a news conference. "Isolated for 10 days ago, some the first cases – four people, two players, and three more the second time. I think the Premier League will say who, you will see who does not travel and you will know who they are."

City have now resumed training after a round of negative results and a deep clean at the City Football Academy.

It comes after City's Premier League match against Everton on Monday was postponed due to an outbreak just four hours before kick-off.

Guardiola said they had enough players and wanted the fixture to go-ahead but the match was called off because of safety concerns.

The City boss said he called Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti to explain the situation and the Italian has sent his best wishes to players recovering from the illness.

"We had enough players to play Everton, we wanted to play, we had the academy shut for the day of the game there were more cases, and we informed the Premier League," he added.

"I called Carlo to announce the situation, as we could play, but if we travelled on the coach, the day before we were in touch all of us, it was a risk for infecting Everton players.

"People are dying all around the world, in the UK it’s been over 900 for over two days. The problem is still here, but now we’ve disinfectedthe whole centreand hopefully the next tests are all negative and those who are isolated are all back."

Everton requested full disclosure of all the information submitted by City to the Premier League after the match was postponed four hours before kick-off.

The Toffees would have been without several senior first-team players and Guardiola insisted they wanted to play, but the game was called off because of concerns about player welfare.

"I prefer the statement of Carlo than the one from the club," Guardiola said. "We spoke with the Premier League, like the one with Mikel Arteta in the first lockdown, we cancelled the game.

"We would have loved to play against them. We are going to go to Goodison Park when James Rodriguez, Luca Digne, Richarlison can play. We would have loved to play that game but the Premier League decided wisely for the welfare of everyone, that in two or three days, there are seven people who are positive."

West Ham manager David Moyes and Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has also questioned the decision of the Premier League to postpone three matches, with Aston Villa's trip to Newcastle and Fulham's clash with Tottenham also called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I’m sorry the most important thing is the welfare of the people they are human beings," Guardiola said."This is not a joke. You can be positive and nothing or you can be positive and be in trouble. Everyone is involved and you have to be careful.

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