Manchester City have been struck by a considerable COVID-19 crisis with as many as 21 staff members, including seven players, self-isolating.
City have been one of the very few Premier League sides to have swerved an inter-squad COVID-19 outbreak thus far. The champions have had individual cases, but when you consider how Chelsea, Liverpool and others have been adversely affected, Pep Guardiola will have been grateful.
No longer, though, with Guardiola himself understood to be among those to have tested positive for COVID-19 and forced into mandatory isolation. There is believed to be as many as 20 more cases on City’s books in addition to their manager, who will miss the weekend’s clash with Swindon Town.
City confirm 14 back room staff, including Pep Guardiola and Juanma Lillo, and 7 first team players have tested positive for Covid. Game against Swindon is still on. Rodolfo Borrell will take charge and youth players will be used
— Sam Lee (@SamLee) January 6, 2022
City host Chelsea at the Etihad next Saturday, so it remains to be seen exactly how many of those affected will be able to be included in the squad for the game. They will be free to participate, should they test negative on day 6 and day 7 of their isolation period AND be deemed fit enough.
It’s hardly ideal preparation for a fixture that could see them dragged back into a scrap for the title, were they to lose. Though, City have immense quality in reserve, which is why they are capable of competing on all fronts. Thomas Tuchel will not be spurred on too much by the news of the outbreak.