Man City boss Guardiola forced to stay away from training in build up to Chelsea clash due to Covid

Manchester City handed huge boost as boss Pep Guardiola is set to return to the dugout for clash with title rivals Chelsea after the 50-year-old was forced to isolate and missed FA Cup clash with Swindon Town due to Covid

Manchester City’s preparations for tomorrow’s title clash with Chelsea were handed a boost by the return of Pep Guardiola after the club’s coronavirus outbreak last week.

Guardiola was one of 21 members of the first-team group to have been forced into self-isolation.

The Catalan tested positive for coronavirus in the days before Friday’s FA Cup victory at Swindon Town and had remained away from the club’s training base. 

City boss Pep Guardiola was one of 21 players and staff to have been forced into self-isolation

Sportsmail understands that Guardiola was back at the City Football Academy on Thursday after initially being unable to return for the build-up to Chelsea.

The 50-year-old is set to be back in the dugout for the visit of Thomas Tuchel’s side, although much of the squad’s preparations had been completed without him.

First-team coach Rodolfo Borrell took charge of the Premier League champions at Swindon in the absence of Guardiola and assistant Juanma Lillo.

Guardiola kept in touch with the stand-in manager over the phone before and during half-time of the third-round tie, although Borrell’s mobile later ran out of battery. 

First-team coach Rodolfo Borrell was in charge for the FA Cup tie at Swindon last Friday

First-team coach Rodolfo Borrell was in charge for the FA Cup tie at Swindon last Friday

The league’s defending champions have gone 10 points clear of second-placed Chelsea following a run of 11 consecutive wins.

But they suffered a major Covid outbreak last week, when 14 members of staff and seven players were in isolation.

John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Fernandinho all missed the Swindon victory. 

A number of stars, understood to include Sterling, have since returned to training and as of Thursday night there was no suggestion that Saturday’s game is under threat.


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