January 25, 2021

Sambaad Patra

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Guardiola admits Man City ‘don’t have many players’ for Man Utd clash in Carabao Cup – Goal India

2 min read

Six players have been confirmed positive for Covid-19 as the Spaniard brings a depleted squad to Old Trafford on Wednesday

Manchester City manager ​Pep Guardiola has admitted his side “don’t have many players” available to face Manchester United in the Carabao Cup due to a Covid-19 outbreak.

City saw their match against Everton postponed last week after a number of players and staff tested positive for coronavirus, but they were able to face Chelsea on Sunday in a match they won 3-1.

The club has seen six players test positive recently, with Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker and Eric Garcia those confirmed to have the virus along with three unnamed players.

Ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final against their fierce local rivals, Guardiola has admitted that the virus has taken its toll on his squad.

“We don’t have many players,” Guardiola told Sky Sports. “To play one, two games is okay but if sustained for a long time – and you can use just 14 or 15 players – it will be more difficult.

“But like everyone in the world, we have to adjust in our lives and our profession as much as possible. We don’t have an alternative.

“The important thing is the guys who have Covid recover well and the others try to avoid it as much as possible.”

Not every City player has been diligent about avoiding risk, however. The club released a statement on Sunday condemning the actions of Benjamin Mendy, who flouted Covid-19 rules to host a New Year’s Eve party.

“While it is understood that elements of this incident have been misinterpreted in the reports, and that the player has publicly apologised for his error, the club is disappointed to learn of the transgression and will be conducting an internal investigation,” the statement read. 

The breach came during a period in which 40 players across the Premier League tested positive for the virus, a new weekly high. As Covid-19 surges across England, Guardiola knows that City are far from the only side affected.

“There are other clubs, like Newcastle, for example; every club is fighting about the dangers with Covid,” he said. “This situation is completely new. It looks like we are an island inside the society. It’s like everything is locked down except ourselves.

“When the people say football players are special, maybe it’s the truth. We didn’t believe it before; I always thought the doctors, teachers, architects, every person is the same. But it looks like everything is closed but our business.

“They have to be careful what they do. Social distance, be careful and be lucky because even doing as best as possible, there are risks.”

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