Five Man City players have tested positive for coronavirus, including defender Kyle Walker and forward Gabriel Jesus; Chelsea vs Man City is live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4.15pm on Super Sunday
Thursday 14 January 2021 00:25, UK
Five Manchester City players will miss Sunday's Premier League match against Chelsea after testing positive for coronavirus, Pep Guardiola has revealed.
Guardiola was expecting to take his side to Goodison Park on Monday to face Everton, but an increase in positive tests at City saw the training ground shut and the match postponed hours before it was due to go ahead.
On Christmas Day, City confirmed defender Kyle Walker and forward Gabriel Jesus had contracted the virus and although no new positives allowed the squad to resume training on Wednesday, Guardiola says he will be without at least three more players for the trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
Asked how many players will be missing, City boss Guardiola replied: "Five right now. Five players are isolating for 10 days. The first cases that were released it was two players and then three more the second time."
The latest results bring the total number of first-team personnel at the club isolating to seven, including two other staff members.
Guardiola added that City were not yet in a position to reveal the identities of the three latest players to test positive.
He said: "I don't think the Premier League allow us to name the players. We have to respect the privacy of the players maybe. You will see the line-ups and three important players not there, so you will know exactly but I'm not allowed to tell you."
City reported "a number of positive cases" on Monday which led to the Premier League postponing the match against Everton.
Guardiola insisted the club had enough players available to make the trip to Goodison Park, but with news of the positive tests only coming through late in the day, there was little alternative but to call off the game.
He said: "We had enough players to play against Everton. We have the academy.
"We wanted to play but on the day of the game, with more cases, we informed the Premier League.
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"Personally I called Carlo Ancelotti to announce the situation because we could play, but what happens if we travel on the coach and more players get it, because the day before we were in touch all of us.
"It was a huge risk, because it's not about what happens here in Manchester City, it's about what happens all around the world.
"People are unfortunately dying all around the world and in the UK. Unfortunately the problem is still here. Hopefully the next tests everyone is negative and the people who are positive right now can come back without a problem."
On Tuesday, the Premier League confirmed 18 positive coronavirus tests among players and staff in its latest round of testing (December 21-27) - the highest figure of the season so far.
Everton expressed frustration after Monday's game was postponed, calling in a statement for "full disclosure of all the information" that led to the decision being taken.
Ancelotti was later more sincere, sending best wishes to those at City affected.
Guardiola added: "I preferred the statement from Carlo Ancelotti than the statement from the club. We would have loved to play the game but, wisely, the Premier League decided for the welfare of everyone not to increase the cases."