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Pep Guardiola reveals new COVID concerns in Manchester City squad ahead of Premier League title clash with Chelsea


Pep Guardiola has revealed Manchester City suffered new cases of coronavirus within their first team this week.

City were without 21 staff, including manager Guardiola himself and seven senior players, for the FA Cup third round victory last week at Swindon after testing positive for Covid-19.

Guardiola was absent from his side’s victory over Swindon last weekend
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The new cases are made up for by the return of others, but Guardiola was unable to reveal many details at a press conference to give an overview of Saturday’s game against Chelsea.

The City boss said: “Some people are coming, some people are positive again. When you’ve tested once, twice negative, you come back. Otherwise no.

“We have new cases but they want confidentiality so I can’t tell you.”

Asked about his family, Guardiola said: “Yes, we are fine. Thank you.”

Pep Guardiola reveals new COVID concerns in Manchester City squad ahead of Premier League title clash with Chelsea
Sterling was not in the squad for FA Cup clash with Swindon
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Pep Guardiola reveals new COVID concerns in Manchester City squad ahead of Premier League title clash with Chelsea
Neither does Jack Grealish record signing
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Despite the virus epidemic in the club, Premier League leaders City have weathered the latest wave of infections well, no games have been postponed and form remains.

Guardiola said: “We’ve had a lot of cases and a lot of injuries. We played at 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 the other clubs. Maybe the injuries are a little less because our medical service has been exceptional but in terms of Covid we have had a lot, like all clubs. »

City hold a 10-point lead over leading Chelsea ahead of Saturday’s clash, but Guardiola believes performance levels have declined in the last two games at Arsenal and Swindon.

Pep Guardiola reveals new COVID concerns in Manchester City squad ahead of Premier League title clash with Chelsea
City could have an exhausted squad against Tuchel’s Chelsea this weekend
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He said: “Football is everyday. The last two games weren’t the best games we’ve played.

“Football is a constant evolution. There are times when you play well and the key is to maintain them for as long as possible.

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

“It’s another test, another game to try to win, to score three points and come back to the best of our ability.”

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