Man City Team News vs Swindon (FA Cup): Guardiola, Borrell, Covid Outbreak

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Manchester City commence their 2022 FA Cup campaign tomorrow night, with a third round clash at Swindon Town. While they will be very short-handed here, City are the favorite, according to Betway, to win this entire competition, typically backed at about 10/3. Pep Guardiola has tested positive for covid-19, as has assistant coach Juanma Lillo.

The coronavirus has hit the reigning Premier League champions hard, as seven first team players have tested positive, and the total case number, including staff is now up to 21. It means assistant coach Rodolfo Borrell will take charge of the side. City are not going to put in a request for postponement.

FA Cup 3rd Round FYIs

Kickoff: Friday Jan 7, 8pm, County Ground

Manchester City Starting XI Prediction: go here

Premier League Podcast: go here

The club statement reads:

“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.”

While Guardiola has suffered an infection, Borrell (who handled his media duties this week) said the Catalan manager extraordinaire is experiencing only a mild case.

“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.

While the seven first team players have not been named, it’s safe to assume that Rodri and Kyle Walker, who both tested positive last week, are probably among the group of individual footballers currently in isolation.

John Stones (knock) may not be fit in time, while Phil Foden and Oleksandr Zinchenko are both on the COVID-19 list. Meanwhile Riyad Mahrez is away on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Algeria.

Borrell said the line-up will be “easy to decide,” and it will include a mix of first team players and academy footballers. Should be very interesting to see how he fills out the team sheet for this one.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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