Five Manchester City players to miss Chelsea game with Covid-19 as Guardiola hits back at Everton

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Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus and three other first-team players are in self-isolation after a coronavirus outbreak lead to a postponement

Manchester City will be without at least five first-team players for their Premier League clash with Chelsea, which is set to go-ahead despite a Covid-19 outbreak at the club.

Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker and three other players are in self-isolation after testing positive for coronavirus and will not make the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Two staff members have also tested positive and City will have two more sets of test results ahead of Sunday's clash.

Pep Guardiola says the Premier League have told them not to reveal the identities of the latest players to test positive for coronavirus.

"Five players are out right now," the City boss told a news conference. "They are isolated for 10 days, some of the first cases that were released – four people, two players, and three more the second time.

"I think the Premier League will not allow us to say who but you will see who does not travel and you will know exactly who they are."

City have now resumed training after a round of negative results and a deep clean at the City Football Academy.

It comes after City's Premier League match against Everton on Monday was postponed due to an outbreak just four hours before kick-off.

Guardiola said they had enough players and wanted the fixture to go-ahead but the match was called off because of safety concerns.

The City boss said he called Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti to explain the situation and the Italian has sent his best wishes to players recovering from the illness.

"We had enough players to play Everton, we wanted to play, but for the day of the game there were more cases and the virus was inside our centre and we informed the Premier League," he added.

"I called Carlo personally to announce the situation, because we could play, but what would happen if we travelled on the coach and more players had it because the day before we were in touch all of us and there would have a risk of Everton players being infected because of us.

"It was a huge risk. It's not about what happened here at Manchester City, it's what's happening around the world.

"People are dying all around the world, in the UK as well, over 900 died in the last two days. The problem is still here, but now we’ve disinfected the whole centre and hopefully the next tests are all negative and those who tested positive can come back."

Everton requested full disclosure of all the information submitted by City to the Premier League after the match was postponed four hours before kick-off.

The Toffees would have been without several senior first-team players and Guardiola insisted they wanted to play, but the game was called off because of concerns about player welfare.

"I prefer the statement of Carlo than the one from the club," Guardiola said. "We spoke with the Premier League, like the one with Mikel Arteta in the first lockdown when he announced he had a positive result, we cancelled the game.

"We would have loved to play against Everton. We are going to go to Goodison Park when James [Rodriguez], [Luca] Digne, Allan, Richarlison can play. We are going to beat them with all of them.

"We would have loved to play that game but the Premier League decided wisely for the welfare of everyone, that in two or three days, there are seven people who had tested positive."

West Ham manager David Moyes and Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has also questioned the decision of the Premier League to postpone three matches, with Aston Villa's trip to Newcastle and Fulham's clash with Tottenham also called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I’m sorry the most important thing is the welfare of the people they are human beings," Guardiola said. "This is not a joke. You can be positive and nothing or you can be positive and be in trouble. Everyone is involved and you have to be careful.

"We told them to stay at home, be careful, don’t contact other people. Follow the scientists, try to follow them."

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