Manchester City's Pep Guardiola to Miss FA Cup Tie After Positive COVID-19 Test

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 6, 2022

Manchester City's head coach Pep Guardiola gestures during the Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium, in London, England, Saturday Jan. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will not be present for the club's third-round FA Cup match against Swindon Town on Friday after testing positive for COVID-19.

City released the following statement regarding Guardiola's forthcoming absence:

"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 and seven are first-team players. Assistant coach Rodolfo Borrell will take charge of the team for the trip to Swindon."

The cup tie against Swindon is still planned to go on as scheduled despite City's COVID-19 outbreak, per ESPN's Rob Dawson.

Guardiola is among the most accomplished and celebrated managers in the history of soccer.

He has picked up multiple individual awards and has won championships in many of the top leagues in the world.

Prior to joining Manchester City in 2016, Guardiola won three La Liga titles and two UEFA Champions League trophies at Barcelona, as well as three Bundesliga titles at Bayern Munich.

At Manchester City, Guardiola has won three Premier League titles. He also led the Citizens to a runner-up finish in the UEFA Champions League last term.

Manchester City is once again in the midst of a dominant season in 2021-22, leading the EPL with 53 points, 10 points ahead of second-place Chelsea.

While City won the FA Cup in 2018-19 with a 6-0 demolition of Watford in the finals, that marked the only time the Sky Blues have reached the final in the past eight seasons.

Manchester City is in a tough spot without its manager and some players because of COVID-19, but it is still a heavy favorite to beat a Swindon Town side that plays in EFL League Two, which is the fourth tier of English soccer.