Frank Lampard braced for Chelsea’s clash with Manchester City to be axed after Covid outbreak in Pep Guardiola’s squad… and Blues’ FA Cup opponents Morecambe are also facing a surge in cases!
- Frank Lampard is in the dark over the status of two of Chelsea’s upcoming ties
- Chelsea face Man City in the league before taking on Morecambe in the FA Cup
- However, City and the League Two minnows have faced Covid-19 outbreaks
- Lampard said football is ‘secondary’ and will discuss the matter in the next days
Frank Lampard is braced for Chelsea’s clash with Manchester City to be called off if safety cannot be guaranteed after a Covid-19 outbreak at the Etihad Stadium club.
Lampard says he is not surprised football is under threat again after it emerged Chelsea’s next two opponents have been badly hit by the virus, which could leave the Blues with a fixture headache.
City, who Chelsea were due to host on Sunday, were forced to postpone their meeting with Everton last night due to the virus spreading within their camp.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is in the dark over the status of his side’s two upcoming fixtures
The Blues are scheduled to face Man City on Sunday, but the club has been hit by Covid-19
Chelsea’s FA Cup third round visitors Morecambe have also cancelled their next two games following a surge in positive tests.
Lampard said: ‘It’s something we’ll discuss considering we’ve got them [City] at the weekend and see what the position is.
‘It’s a key time and a rough time and we felt that coming as Tier 4 has come in and the surge in Covid. Safety has to be paramount. From our point of view I will find out more over the next day or two to make sure it has to be safe for the two teams. If not the game won’t go ahead. The Premier League has their directives on that.
‘If we don’t play these games [City and Morecambe] we’ll keep working. It’s a tough time.
Pep Guardiola’s side’s game against Everton was postponed just four hours before kick off
The Blues are also set to face Morecambe, who have suffered an outbreak, in the FA Cup
‘I’m not surprised because the way Covid is in the UK is difficult for everybody and football isn’t very different so we’ll just have to see what the Premier League come up with but safety will be paramount.’
Following their Boxing Day defeat at Arsenal, Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa though Lampard was pleased with the reaction he got from his much-changed side.
‘We wanted more but if we keep playing with the same attitude we’ll get back to winning,’ he said after Olivier Giroud’s 10th career goal in 10 games against Villa was cancelled out by Anwar El Ghazi’s equaliser, his fifth goal in five games.
Villa manager Dean Smith said: ‘The energy levels of my players were incredible considering we only played 48 hours ago.’
Lampard said he will discuss the matter in the coming days, adding that football is ‘secondary’
Sportsmail understands that three of City’s team returned positive tests on Monday, following on from the positive tests of Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker revealed on Christmas Day.
City sources suspect the sudden outbreak – now seven confirmed cases since Christmas Day – was caused by last week’s 4-1 Carabao Cup victory at Arsenal.
While Guardiola’s team is believed to have travelled to and from London on the day to minimise risk, they did spend time in a hotel pre-match and fear contraction of the contagious new strain, VUI-202012/01.
A change in the status of those two games could present a fixture headache for the club
Everton have requested ‘full disclosure’ of all the information City gave to the Premier League so it ‘can be clear’ why their game at Goodison Park was postponed.
A terse club statement read: ‘Everton Football Club regret the postponement of tonight’s match against Manchester City – not only for the 2,000 fans who would have been attending, but for supporters on Merseyside and across the world.
‘Our players were prepared for the game, as were both the team staff and everyone at Goodison. Matchday is the most important date in our calendar. And this was a big one.
‘Whilst Everton will always have public safety uppermost, we will be requesting full disclosure of all the information that Manchester City provided to the Premier League so the Club can be clear on why this decision was taken.’
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