MAN CITY will be missing SIX first-team players for this week's Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester United.
Pep Guardiola will be missing a number of key players after Covid problems in his Etihad camp.
Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus were confirmed to have tested positive just before Christmas.
Three more Man City players tested positive and missed the 3-1 win at Chelsea – although their identities have not been officially confirmed.
Goalkeeper Ederson and striker Ferran Torres were unavailable for the game at Stamford Bridge.
Eric Garcia became the latest City star to test positive, along with an unnamed member of coaching staff.
City saw their Premier League clash at Everton last week postponed, but were back on the pitch at Stamford Bridge yesterday.
And they look set to take on rivals Man Utd on Wednesday night despite a depleted squad.
Guardiola also defended Benjamin Mendy over his recent coronavirus breach.
The Manchester City left-back, 26, hosted a New Year's Eve party at his house despite the Covid outbreak within the club camp.
Mendy's bash — three days after his side’s clash with Everton was postponed due to the bug — was attended by at least three people outside his household.
The Frenchman said he, his girlfriend, his niece and nephew — who all live with him — attended.
But he admitted his girlfriend’s pal and her partner were also there, along with a chef.
During the party, Mendy tweeted a message at 11.23pm urging people to take caution. It read: “Happy New Year. Take care of you and yours.”
City said they were "disappointed to learn of the transgression and will be conducting an internal investigation" – but despite the breach, Guardiola named him on the bench for the win at Chelsea.
Asked about his defender's antics, the Spaniard jumped to his defence – and told his critics to look in the mirror before blasting Mendy.
Guardiola said: "He had good intentions with the heart that he has, but he has to understand some things. He invited two or three people on New Year's Eve, they all tested negative, but they were at his house.
"I would like to know how many people had five or six people at home on New Year’s Eve, I’m pretty sure many.
"Normally in society we judge the other one, it would be better if we judge ourselves.
"I’m pretty sure Benjamin will improve on that and next time he will be more careful."
Guardiola added: "He broke the rules, I’m not justifying it, he cannot do it.
"But don’t give lessons to the other ones, don’t put examples from the players for society. We all have to do what we have to do.
"Of course it was not correct what he has done, but don’t judge him too much, if we look at what we have done New Year's Eve, many, many people have maybe done the same.
"It’s easy to judge others. If everyone put the demanding intentions on ourselves everyone would be better.
"We have to follow the rules [like everybody], I’ve said this to the players many times, the virus is here, but we know that the government have to say what we have to do."
Source: Read Full Article