Pep Guardiola to miss Man City’s FA Cup tie at Swindon as Premier League leaders hit by Covid-19 outbreak

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Pep Guardiola has tested positive for Covid-19 and will not coach Manchester City at Swindon in the FA Cup  (REUTERS)
Pep Guardiola has tested positive for Covid-19 and will not coach Manchester City at Swindon in the FA Cup (REUTERS)

Manchester City have suffered a significant Covid-19 outbreak ahead of their FA Cup third-round tie against Swindon Town on Friday night.

The Premier League leaders confirmed on Thursday that a total of 21 people - seven players and 14 staff members - within their first-team bubble were now isolating due to coronavirus-related reasons.

Such a number includes City manager Pep Guardiola, who will not be in the dugout at the County Ground after testing positive for Covid on Tuesday.

Assistant boss Juanma Lillo also returned a positive test, meaning another of Pep's right-hand men in Rodolfo Borrell will take charge on Friday as the reigning English champions attempt to avoid a significant cup upset against fourth-tier promotion hopefuls Swindon in Wiltshire.

City did not disclose the identities of the seven first-team players in question, though Guardiola - who was nominated for the Premier League Manager of the Month award on Thursday - did previously confirm that Phil Foden and Oleksandr Zinchenko both missed the last-gasp 2-1 win over Arsenal on New Year’s Day due to Covid.

England centre-back John Stones has also been absent of late, although that is injury-related.

Several City youngsters would likely have been given the chance to impress against Swindon anyway, but that is now a certainty amid this Covid outbreak.

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