Man City’s Pep Guardiola tests positive for COVID-19, to miss FA Cup clash at Swindon


Manchester City are dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 that has forced 21 players and staff to isolate, including manager Pep Guardiola.

City announced on Thursday that Guardiola and assistant Juanma Lillo both returned positive tests ahead of the FA Cup third-round tie at Swindon Town.

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The game is still scheduled to go ahead on Friday night, with Rodolfo Borrell set to take charge for Man City at the County Ground.

A statement issued by City on Thursday read: “Pep Guardiola will miss Friday evening’s FA Cup trip to Swindon Town after testing positive for COVID-19.

“The City manager recorded a positive test on Tuesday along with assistant Juanma Lillo. Both are now isolating, along with a number of other positive cases within the City first team bubble.

“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.

“Assistant coach Rodolfo Borrell will take charge of the team for the trip to Swindon.”

Borrell stepped in for Guardiola at City’s prematch news conference on Thursday afternoon and said the plan is to mix available first-team players with the academy to make sure they can field a team at Swindon.

“Pep is fine, he has the virus but fortunately hasn’t got a lot of symptoms,” he said. “We are permanently in touch via Zoom calls or calls like we normally do, thanks to the technology.

“It has possibly been one of the most easy lineups we have to decide. We are going to play with the ones we have available. We don’t have much more.

“At this moment we can fill the team. I don’t know what will happen in the following days. We will play with what we have got, some first-team players and some players from our second team.”

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