Manchester City will go into Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester United without at least six players due to positive COVID-19 tests and injury issues.
Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus were reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 before the Boxing Day Premier League clash against Newcastle United.
The spread of COVID-19 within Manchester City’s ranks then led to the postponement of their Premier League clash against Everton. They even had to shut down their training centre due to fears over the spread.
In their subsequent game, which they won 3-1 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Manchester City were without at least four more players.
City had confirmed that Eric Garcia and a member of their backroom staff had tested positive for the virus.
However, Ederson, Ferran Torres, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake also missed the win against Chelsea.
Based on his social media profile, it was clear that Ederson was self-isolating due to COVID-19.
Manchester Evening News (MEN) also reported that Torres was self-isolating due to a positive COVID-19 test, along with youngster Tommy Doyle.
Before the game against Chelsea, Pep Guardiola had said that the Premier League had advised City to not name the players who had tested positive for the virus. However, some names have emerged since.
In addition to the players who have tested positive for the virus, Laporte and Ake missed the game against Chelsea due to injury concerns. Both are expected to miss the game against Manchester United as well.
However, MEN also reported that Manchester City are likely to field a much younger squad for their FA Cup tie against Birmingham City over the weekend, which could allow them to field a strong XI (considering those available) for the game against United.
Guardiola said before the game against Chelsea that there was no chance that Manchester City would think about dropping any competition. He said:
“I don’t think about what is going to happen in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday. We’re going to travel to London and get the tests back from the Premier League to tell us which players are available, we’re going to decide the team. Day by day we’re going to decide but for sure we’re going to prepare the FA Cup game with the best team counting all the situations that we have.”
With there being so much uncertainty surrounding the Manchester City squad for the game at Old Trafford on Wednesday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be optimistic about his team’s chances.
Last season, Manchester United were knocked out of all three cup competitions in the semi-final stage, including against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup.
They also lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final and to Sevilla in the semi-final of the Europa League.