Pep Guardiola has tested positive for Covid-19 while seven Manchester City players are now isolating as the virus continues to spread at the Etihad.
The City boss and his assistant Juanma Lillo both returned positive tests on Tuesday and will now miss Friday’s FA Cup clash with Swindon Town, although the game will still take place.
With a number of other positive cases within the Man City first-team bubble, 21 people – 14 backroom staff and seven players – are now isolating for Covid-related reasons.
Assistant coach Rodolfo Borrell will take charge of Manchester City’s FA Cup third-round clash with League Two side Swindon, but new rules regarding the duration of isolation periods means Guardiola could return for the Premier League fixture against Chelsea on January 15.
Man City, who are bidding to win back-to-back Premier League titles under Guardiola, have won 11 matches in a row to storm ten points clear of Chelsea and Liverpool.
Speaking after his side beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates on Saturday, Guardiola said Covid-19 was making the Premier League even more ‘unpredictable’.
‘They were better, they were the better team, we did not have energy,’ the Man City manager said. ‘At the end, we played against Brentford, went back to Manchester and came back to London.
‘Arsenal struggled in the last years to be in the top four and they started the season in the bottom but have moved up step by step, I felt the energy and connection between the players and we did not have the energy to compete with them.
‘In football sometimes you try to analyse the reasons, what we have done, but it is unpredictable – 4-0 against Leicester, in 20 minutes, 4-3. Injuries, Covid and lot of games, these types of situations happen.’
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