Lampard’s Chelsea is all set for Man City visit amid COVID-19 concerns
NEW YORK (US) – Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says their preparations for Sunday’s Premier League clash against Manchester City will go ahead as planned despite fresh COVID-19 cases at both clubs this week.
City’s match against Everton was postponed on Monday after multiple positive cases for the novel coronavirus at the club.
The first-team squad were able to resume training on Wednesday only after the entire staff in the bubble returned negative COVID-19 tests.
“I’ve been given the chances of the game being postponed. At the moment the game is on,” Lampard told a news conference on Friday.
“We know that Manchester City have had some (COVID-19) positives at their training ground.”
City manager Pep Guardiola confirmed five players are currently self-isolating due to COVID-19, while Lampard revealed two positive cases within their own camp.
“We’ve had a couple ourselves but not on the playing staff and that’s the current situation,” he added.
The United Kingdom has had more than 2.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and recorded over 73,500 deaths.
The country is battling a new variant of the virus and Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered millions more people to live under the strictest restrictions from Thursday to curb its spread after case numbers rose sharply in the last two weeks.
When asked if his players have any concerns about playing this weekend, Lampard said: “We feel as safe as the general public. We’re in a protective environment – certainly in the workplace. We’re now tested twice a week, which is important.
“I think safety and security is paramount, trying to keep the nation’s spirits up. We enjoy watching our football but safety is important.”
Lampard confirmed defender Reece James has been ruled out for the weekend with a muscle injury but winger Hakim Ziyech has returned to training after recovering from a hamstring issue.