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Chelsea v City: Pep reveals latest injury news

Chelsea v City: Pep reveals latest injury news
Pep Guardiola has revealed he will be without five first-team players for Sunday’s trip to Chelsea.

Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus tested positive for Coronavirus before Christmas, and three more positive cases were confirmed on Monday.

With an outbreak of the infection in the squad, the game against Everton was postponed until further notice.

Guardiola says the Club were ready to fulfil the fixture against Everton, but the Premier League advised the game should be cancelled on health grounds.

With no further positive cases confirmed in the intervening period, Sunday’s game at Chelsea will go ahead, but Guardiola’s options have been significantly reduced.

“We have five [players out] right now,” he said. “Five players. The first cases were two players and two staff - and then three players the second time.

“The Premier league will not allow us [to name the players], but tomorrow you will see because they will not travel. They told us not to and some clubs announce, some don't.

“We have to respect the privacy of players. But tomorrow you will see the three important players who are not there. I am not allowed to tell you.”

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Reacting to the postponement of our trip to Everton, Pep added: “We had enough players to play Everton - we wanted to play - but on the day of the game with the day before four cases, the virus was inside our Club.

“I called Carlo Ancelotti to announce the situation because we could play, but if we travel led and we had been in touch with our infected players, we could infect Everton.

“It was a big risk. Not just here. Around the world. The problem is still here but now we have disinfected, cleaned out the CFA and we take tests and hopefully they will all be negative. And hopeful the ones infected come back safe. In a few cases (of those tested) we still don't have the results.

“We will follow what the Premier League will say. I know they are doing an incredible job with all the extra measures after the first lockdown.

“But take a look at Newcastle. I spoke to Steve Bruce and he explained how difficult it was for his club who has more than 20 people infected. It can happen here, at Fulham, anywhere around the world.

“There are many cases around the world. We are delighted to play games but at the same time we cannot ignore the reality that the virus is here and we don't know exactly when you get it, but you can get it. That’s why we wear masks and social distance.”

The City boss admitted preparation for Sunday has been disrupted, but believes his players will be able to compete strongly against Chelsea.

“Well, you are less in touch with the players and are not in the locker room - they just see us on the pitch. It is what it is,” he said.

“We have a good squad to go there and try to compete against a tough opponent in Chelsea. But we go there to play our game with enthusiasm and good will. We try to do our job and do a good performance.”

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