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Covid-19

Pep Guardiola TO MISS Swindon Town match

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Manchester City News: City are currently facing a huge COVID-19 outbreak at the club. The team has reported that a total of seven players and fourteen backroom staff have tested positive in their bio secure bubble.

The Cityzens are up against Swindon Town in the third round of the FA Cup on January 8th. However, given the situation, it doesn’t look like they will be able to field their best players.

Additionally, the club has now reported that manager Pep Guardiola along with his assistant Juanma Lillo. He is currently in self isolation along with the others who have tested positive and is set to be absent for the Swindon Town game.

Currently tested individuals need to be abide to a minimum of 1 week self isolation according to UK government rules. This means Pep Guardiola has the chance to return to action in the match against Chelsea.

Manchester City News: Pep Guardiola TO MISS Swindon Town match

Manchester City News: Coach Rodolfo Borrell to be in charge

In the absence of Pep Guardiola, former Liverpool academy coach Rodolfo Borrell will be in charge of the team for the Swindon game. He has been at Manchester City since 2014.

Pep Guardiola is the recent Premier League managed to test positive for COVID-19. Aston Villa’s Steven Gerrard, Newcastle United’s Eddie Howe, Crystal Palace’s Patrick Vieira, Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta are already under isolation.

Pep Guardiola will miss tomorrow 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,” said the official statement from City.

“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 and seven are first-team players.”

Oleksandr Zinchenko recalls HILARIOUS INCIDENT

Manchester City left back Oleksandr Zinchenko has spoken about a funny incident which happened with him. He was certain about not playing for Manchester City ever again after what happened!

In the celebrations after Manchester City lifted the 2017/18 Premier League, Zinchenko forgot about his surroundings while dancing. The trophy was placed directly behind him and amidst the dancing, he knocked it over!

“After that (accidentally knocking the trophy off it’s stand), I said to myself, ‘Oh my god, I’m never going to play for City again’,” he said.

“It’s always a special feeling to achieve these kinds of things (winning the Premier League). I didn’t play much when I won it the first time (2018), but still I felt like a small part of the team. It’s always nice to be there, it’s a dream for everyone to be part of this amazing family.”





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Callum Hudson-Odoi

Thomas Tuchel faces problems with major player out

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Chelsea News: The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is upon us and football fans will be treated with some fantastic play on display between the best teams in the continent. This is the 33rd version of the AFCON.

Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has joined up with his Senegalese team for the competition. However, he is set to miss to first game of the tournament against Zimbabwe.

It is a mandatory process for players to undergo COVID-19 protocols and tests before each game. But in this case, Edouard Mendy along with defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Famara Diedhiou have returned positive results.

Hence, this means that Mendy will be on the sidelines for the first game of the tournament. Although he was set to be absent for Chelsea for a few weeks, this does prove to be a problem for the club if he’s not able to return in time.

Chelsea News: Edouard Mendy tests Covid positive at his national squad

Chelsea News: Thomas Tuchel faces problems with major player out

The Senegalese shotstopper is without a shadow of a doubt Thomas Tuchel’s number one choice. Indeed, Tuchel had earlier said that Mendy has undergone a confidence drop. He still trusts him blindly.

He [Mendy] is going through a rough period, I don’t know why exactly, but he seems to have lost a bit of confidence,” Thomas Tuchel had said after the 3-2 defeat to West Ham United in the Premier League.

Moreover, Chelsea have two more COVID-19 cases to worry about at the moment. Brazilian defender Thiago Silva and French midfielder N’golo Kante are positive as well and further add to the worries for Thomas Tuchel.

In the absence of Edouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga will be stepping up for the Blues. His first major challenge will be up against Manchester City as they travel to the Etihad on 15th January.

Chelsea News: Callum Hudson-Odoi praises Lewis Hall

Chelsea ran out comfortable winners against Chesterfield in the FA Cup third round as they recorded a 5-1 win. Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner, Romelu Lukaku, Andreas Christensen and Hakim Ziyech all got on the scoresheet.

However, the most impressive player for the Blues was young Lewis Hall. The youngster had a very impressive outing against Chesterfield and has earned the praise of teammate Callum Hudson-Odoi.

He was amazing. I said to him throughout the whole game, just keep playing the way you are playing. From early you could spot it, how confident he was on the ball, driving with the ball,” said Hudson-Odoi.

Defensively he was solid as well, and I am very happy for him. Hopefully, he can keep going.”



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AFCON

Jurgen Klopp admits club desperately needs this forward to fire in January

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Liverpool News: The Reds stormed into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 4-1 victory over Shrewsbury. The victory capped off a hectic week for the club, in which they had to deal with a Covid-19 outbreak.

Jurgen Klopp returned to the bench after testing negative, but their troubles haven’t ended yet. Seven players have tested positive in total, as Liverpool fielded a largely young lineup for their fixture.

The covid outbreak also couldn’t have simply come at a worse time for the club, with a further three players out due to their participation in AFCON. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita have all left and can potentially return in February if their country reaches the latter stages. Another attacker, Divock Origi, is also nursing an injury, as Liverpool’s attacking depth is put to the test.

In all of this, Jurgen Klopp identified one player who he needs to step up this month. Klopp named Takumi Minamino as the player who is desperately needed by the club, during this crisis.

Takumi Minamino

The Reds have a tough set of fixtures coming up, with the semi-final of the Carabao Cup against Arsenal. It will be followed up with clashes against Crystal Palace and Brentford, all of which they are expected to win if they are to maintain their second spot.

Minamino missed the last couple of matches with a minor muscle injury but came on as a substitute in the FA Cup. He played the whole of the 2nd half without any complaints.

Liverpool News: Takumi Minamino handed a boost to uplift his Reds career

The 26-year-old only trained twice prior to the match, and his time on the pitch was part of his rehab. However, Klopp hopes he will be better this week and can form a vital part of Liverpool‘s attack.

Speaking in the post-match interview, Klopp revealed, “Taki trained only twice after his injury. The game was part of his rehab. Taki was injured, nothing serious but serious enough that he couldn’t play. It won’t be the longest rehab in his life.

“But he is back and is very, very important for us, especially now we have a lot of games coming up and we all know two of our main guys up front are not here.”

“I liked Taki a lot when he came on, he was actually in really good shape. But of course, the injury interrupted him slightly, that’s how it is. Now he is back. It’s good and we need him desperately.”

After joining the club in 2020, Takumi Minamino has failed to nail down a starting lineup spot so far. The Japanese international has made a total of 43 appearances, scoring 9 goals in them.

This time around, however, he can finally turn his fortunes around with a string of consistent performances this month. With a couple of strong showing, he can finally put his name up for contention even when the big guns return later on.



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Covid-19

Virgil Van Dijk labels City as lucky

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Manchester City News: While everyone at the start of this season focused mainly on Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea or Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to win the title race, Manchester City have once again shown why they are champion material.

Pep Guardiola’s men have absolutely blown the rest of the league away with their consistency. Moreover, Manchester City have gone about to do so without making much noise or beating their own drum.

The hectic Christmas period is a testimony to how good Pep Guardiola’s team has been. They have been resilient and have tackled each problem without difficulty.

Manchester City played a total of 12 games in about 41 days in the festive period. They lost just once that too against RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League, keeping their record in the Premier League clean.

Manchester City News: Virgil Van Dijk labels City as lucky

At the moment they are deservedly 10 points clear at the top. And with the way things are going, it looks unlikely that any other team will be able to match up to their quality. They are just too good at the moment.

Manchester City News: Virgil van Dijk believes City have been lucky

In all honesty, Liverpool’s title race hasn’t gone exactly the way they would’ve liked it to be. Jurgen Klopp’s men have failed to capitalise when their rivals have lost points and lost some crucial games as well.

Hence, it is only natural that the Reds players are frustrated at the fact that Manchester City are racing ahead at the moment. Dutch international Virgil van Dijk in particular believes City have been ‘lucky’ in December.

According to Van Dijk, Manchester City had far less COVID-19 cases and injuries than Liverpool FC. This, according to him, puts Manchester City at an easier position rather than accepting that the Blues have been better.

City got through the month of December particularly well,” he said, talking about Manchester City’s luck factor in the title race.

They had few injuries and few corona cases and that helps enormously. A small example is that me, Fabinho and Thiago all tested positive for Covid at the same time, three players who are important to the team.

A big club like Liverpool still has good quality players, but the rhythm and dynamics of the team changes at such a time. There are still so many games to play – but you also need a bit of luck at this stage.”

Manchester City will be up against Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea next in a big match. Liverpool FC will have the opportunity to reduce the deficit between them and City as they have played a game less.





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