Pep Guardiola urges Man City stars to get booster jabs

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola urges his players to get booster jabs with Premier League clubs braced for daily Covid tests amid surge in Omicron cases

  • Checks at Premier League clubs have been increased to three times a week 
  • League hope stricter measure will help them get a grip in the escalating crisis  
  • Testing could be ramped up further should the virus continue to cause havoc

Premier League clubs are braced to be asked to perform daily Covid tests on their players after the checks were upped to three times a week as Pep Guardiola urged his stars to get their booster jabs.

From this week, the top-flight have increased the number of rounds of tests clubs have to carry out as standard following a rise in cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Players were previously being tested twice a week. The league hope the stricter measure will help them get a grip in the escalating crisis that has gripped the division.

Manchester City Pep Guardiola says most of his staff have had booster jabs

Though clubs are ready for the amount of testing to be ramped up further should the virus continue to cause havoc across the league.

While the twice-weekly order was in place, some clubs were already performing more tests than required as a precaution, responding to any signs of Covid symptoms by conducting additional checks.

The changing picture in the Premier League and across the country prompted top-flight chiefs to write to clubs last week informing them that emergency Covid measures must be re-introduced after the restrictions were previously loosened.

These included a return to club having to split their squads’ changing facilities at the training ground to ensure social distancing can be maintained, limiting massage and treatment times and also a ban on family members attending training grounds.

Manchester United have been forced to shut down first-team operations at Carrington

Tottenham, Manchester United, Aston Villa, Leicester, Brentford, Norwich, Brighton and Manchester City have all had their plans disrupted recently by Covid issues.

‘Three or four’ players at Brighton and a number of Manchester City staff who work outside of their first-team bubble have tested positive, respective managers Graham Potter and Guardiola confirmed.

On his players getting the booster Guardiola said: ‘Absolutely. The doctors suggest we have to do it. Most of us have had it already and I think the players have to decide if they are going to do it.’

Aston Villa cancelled a training session on Sunday after a player and number of staff members tested positive.

 Ralf Rangnick’s squad had their training session cancelled on Monday due to the outbreak

Villa face bottom-of-the-table Norwich on Tuesday who have winger Christos Tzolis isolating after he contracted coronavirus.

Meanwhile Dean Smith has played down the significance of his Aston Villa reunion insisting facing his boyhood and former club just over a month after they sacked him will be a stranger occasion for his family and friends.

Asked what it will mean to him, Canaries head coach Smith said: ‘Not much. It is the next game. I move on very quickly. There is no extra motivation. The only the motivation that is to win a football game. We need to because of our position.

‘There’s no weirdness about it [facing Villa] for me. It’s more for my friends and family who have split loyalties. I know my family will certainly be behind me.’

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