Manchester City have confirmed that first-team stars Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus have tested positive for coronavirus and will miss the Boxing Day clash at home to Newcastle.
A club statement read: “Manchester City FC can confirm that Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker, and two members of staff have tested positive for COVID-19.
“All four personnel will now observe a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine.
“Everyone at the Club wishes our colleagues a speedy recovery over the Christmas period ahead of their return to work, training and competition.”
Walker and Jesus will also likely miss the trip to Everton on December 28. Its is unclear if they will return for the crunch showdown with Chelsea on January 3.
Besides Walker and Jesus, Guardiola has a relatively full squad to pick from for the clash with Newcastle tomorrow.
Sergio Aguero has been gradually brought back into the frame following a period on the sidelines and he could be in line to start.
Earlier this week City put four goals past Arsenal to reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals ad Guardiola hopes his side will keep firing on all cylinders for the remainder of the festive period.
“It’s like in Manchester. It rains every day,” he said. “When one day the sun rises it doesn’t mean the weather is going to change. It is just one game but we will see what happens in the future.
“But we are happy to be in the semi-finals again, four years in a row. We started good, we struggled when they changed the set-up.
“They started with five at the back and when they changed to four we struggled a little bit.
“Our play in the second half was much better and after the second and third goal in this kind of knockout games they are so important.”
Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will be available to pull the strings against Newcastle but Jamie Redknapp wants to see Bernardo Silva weighing in with more goals and assists.
“In 2018/19, he was one of the best players in the country, everyone was talking about him and that was when they didn’t have De Bruyne as much that season,” he told Sky Sports.
“Since then, there’s been a huge drop-off, he’s now 26, I love him as a player, but he’s got to do more. This last year and a half, he hasn’t done what we saw a couple of years ago.”