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Pep Guardiola tests positive for Covid amid major outbreak at Man City

City plan to face Swindon in the FA Cup despite 21 Covid cases in their camp.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola (file pic).
Man City boss Pep Guardiola (file pic).
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Updated Jan 6th 2022, 3:19 PM

Updated at 13.04

PEP GUARDIOLA will miss Manchester City’s FA Cup third-round tie at Swindon on Friday following a coronavirus outbreak at the Premier League champions.

City have announced that manager Guardiola and assistant Juanma Lillo returned positive tests on Tuesday along with a number of other members of the “first-team bubble”.

The club have not identified any of the other individuals but have given details of the number affected.

A statement on the club’s website added: “This brings the number of those isolating for Covid-related reasons amongst the group to 21. Of that number, 14 are backroom staff with seven first-team players.”

Rodolfo Borrell, another of Guardiola’s coaching assistants, will take charge of the team at Swindon.

City are planning as if their FA Cup tie at Swindon will go ahead despite a coronavirus outbreak at the Premier League club.

City currently have 21 members of their “first-team bubble” isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, including manager Pep Guardiola and seven players, following a raft of fresh cases this week.

The high number raises the possibility that Friday’s third-round trip to League Two promotion hopefuls Swindon could be postponed but City are presently still able to field a team.

Assistant coach Rodolfo Borrell, who will take charge of the side in Guardiola’s absence, said: “We have actually prepared mentally for the game.

“We have to prepare for the game to happen and this is what we have done until now and we will keep going this way.

“If it is not possible tomorrow for whatever reason, because there is more news, it is out of our reach to know right now. We are prepared to play the game and mentally we are ready for it.

“At the end of the day, it (will) possibly be one of the easiest line-ups we have to decide because we are going to play with the (players) we have available. We don’t have much more.”

west-ham-united-v-manchester-city-carabao-cup-fourth-round-london-stadium Borrell (left) discusses tactics with Pep. Source: PA

The news comes after Burnley announced their manager, Sean Dyche, will be absent as the Clarets host Huddersfield in their third-round tie on Saturday.

Dyche has also tested positive for Covid-19 this week.

A statement read: “Burnley Football Club can confirm manager Sean Dyche will miss this weekend’s FA Cup third-round tie at home to Huddersfield, after testing positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday. Sean will now follow the mandatory self-isolation protocols.”

Meanwhile, Everton have announced their Women’s Super League match at Aston Villa scheduled for Saturday has been postponed due to coronavirus cases in their squad.

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It is the third fixture of the forthcoming round of WSL games to be called off after Chelsea v Tottenham (Friday) and West Ham v Manchester United (Sunday) were postponed on Wednesday because of Covid-19 in the home camps.

In addition, it has also been confirmed that Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has tested positive for Covid-19, Gabon coach Patrice Neveu told AFP on Thursday, just days ahead of their opening Africa Cup of Nations match.

Aubameyang, team-mate Mario Lemina and assistant coach Yala Anicet all tested positive after taking a lateral flow test and are awaiting the results from a PCR one.

“They underwent a PCR test and are isolating in their hotel,” said Neveu, adding they displayed no symptoms.

Aubameyang — who was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy last month — is at risk of missing Gabon’s opening Group C match against Comoros on January 10 in the biennial African showpiece tournament being hosted by Cameroon.

They go on to play further matches against Ghana and Morocco.

Gabon enter the finals on the back of a 3-0 defeat by Burkina Faso in a friendly match in Dubai last Sunday.

Additional reporting by AFP

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