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PREPARED: Guardiola ready for Chelsea despite Covid disruption

 

Pep Guardiola has revealed Manchester City have suffered some fresh cases of coronavirus within their first-team group this week.

City were without 21 personnel, including manager Guardiola himself and seven senior players, for last week’s FA Cup third-round win at Swindon after positive tests for Covid-19.

The new cases are offset by the return of others but Guardiola was unable to reveal much detail at a press conference to preview Saturday’s game against Chelsea.

The City boss said: “Some people are coming, some people are positive again. When you have tested once, twice negative you come back. Otherwise not.

“We have some new cases but they want privacy, so I cannot tell you.”

Despite the virus outbreak at the club, Premier League leaders City have come through the latest wave of infections well, with no games postponed and form holding up.

Guardiola said: “We had a lot of cases and a lot of injuries. We played Aston Villa with 11 first-team players and in the last six or seven games there were four or five Academy players on the bench.

“We are in the same situation as all other clubs. Maybe injuries are bit less because our medical department have been exceptional but, in terms of Covid, we have had a lot, like all clubs.”

City hold a 10-point lead over Chelsea at the top heading into Saturday’s clash but Guardiola feels performance levels have dipped in the last couple of games at Arsenal and Swindon.

He said: “Football is every day. The last two games were not the best games we’ve played.

“Football is a constant evolution. There are periods that you are playing good and the key is to sustain that as long as possible.

“That is what we have to do but there are tests ahead of us. They are champions of Europe, an excellent team in all departments.

“It is another test, another game to try to win, to make three points and come back in our best way.”

 


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