Manchester City duo Jesus and Walker test positive for coronavirus

Pep Guardiola will have to do without the strike rand the defender in the holiday period after the positive test for COVID-19

On Christmas Day, Manchester City revealed that Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker and two other staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

Striker Jesus scored an opening goal in a 4-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final win at Arsenal on Tuesday, while defender Walker came on as a substitute as Manchester City continued to dominate in the three-man competition consecutive seasons and in five the last seven.

The duo will miss the Boxing Day Premier League match with Newcastle United as they self-isolate after contracting COVID-19.

City take on Everton two days after Newcastle’s visit to Etihad as the club continue the hectic holiday season with a visit to Chelsea on 3 January.

After that, Pep Guardiola’s side will look forward to Manchester United in a delightful EFL Cup semi-final derby at Old Trafford on 6 January.

City said in a statement: “Manchester City FC can confirm that Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker and two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

“All four staff members will now observe a period of self-isolation in accordance with the Premier League and UK government quarantine protocol.

“Everyone at the club wishes our colleagues a speedy recovery during the Christmas period before their return to work, training and competition.”

Jesus has been pivotal for Manchester City this season as fellow striker Sergio Aguero battled injury issues.

Aguero, who recently returned to the first team, asked for “some time” to get back to his best after undergoing knee surgery.

The Brazilian has played 11 times in all competitions, scoring four total goals, two of them in the Premier League.

Walker, meanwhile, has appeared 18 times in all competitions for Manchester City, having participated in 12 of the club’s 13 total league games this campaign.

Manchester City are currently in eighth place in the standings, but have one game in hand on each of the top seven apart from Manchester United in third place.

Guardiola’s side are currently eight points behind leaders Liverpool, who host West Brom on Sunday, as well as three points behind fourth-placed Everton, who are on par with Man Utd on 26 points after playing one more game.