Zack Steffen will make his Premier League debut for depleted Manchester City as their clash with Chelsea goes ahead despite a coronavirus outbreak.
Pep Guardiola is without six players for Sunday’s trip to Stamford Bridge, with the club’s squad badly affected by COVID-19.
Eric Garcia was the latest to test positive on the day of the game, though the Spaniard was due to miss out through injury anyway.
Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus were confirmed to have the virus on Christmas Day, though Guardiola did not reveal the identities of the others to have returned positive tests.
But goalkeeper Ederson did confirm he is self-isolating, meaning 25-year-old United States international Steffen was picked to start between the posts, wirth Scott Carson as back-up.
Steffen signed for City in 2019 but spent last season on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf, meaning the game at Stamford Bridge is to be his Premier League bow, his four previous appearances this term coming in the EFL Cup and Champions League.
XI | Steffen, Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne (C), Foden, Bernardo, Sterling.
SUBS | Carson, Aguero, Mendy, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Delap, Harwood-Bellis, Mbete.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 3, 2021
Benjamin Mendy has been picked among the substitutes despite being found in breach of social distancing rules on New Year’s Eve, while Ferran Torres is absent from the visitors’ travelling party.
Although Frank Lampard revealed on Friday that two Chelsea staff members had contracted coronavirus, their squad remains unaffected.
Lampard also played down the idea of Hakim Ziyech starting against City after an injury absence, however, the Morocco star was named in Chelsea’s line-up.
Timo Werner also returns to the starting XI after being dropped for the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.
Kai Havertz remains among the substitutes.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 3, 2021
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