Pep Guardiola has been forced to name a new-look Man City team to face Chelsea on Sunday.

In the days leading up to the clash, the City boss confirmed FIVE of his players would miss the trip to Stamford Bridge due to positive coronavirus tests.

Guardiola has made three changes to the Man City team that beat Newcastle on Boxing Day

Getty Images – Getty

Guardiola has made three changes to the Man City team that beat Newcastle on Boxing Day

The club have confirmed Eric Garcia, Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus as the absentees, while Ederson revealed he is self-isolating at home.

Subsequently, Guardiola has handed a Premier League debut to American goalkeeper Zack Steffen and there is a first top-flight start of the season for left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Steffen’s introduction means there is a place on the bench for 35-year-old goalkeeper Scott Carson, who is on loan from Championship club Derby.

Benjamin Mendy has been named on the bench, despite the club announcing they will conduct an internal investigation on the France defender after he hosted a New Year’s Eve party, which broke COVID-19 isolation rules.

A City spokesperson said: “The club is aware of a New Year’s Eve Covid-19 breach involving Benjamin Mendy and the subsequent media reporting of it.

“While it is understood that elements of this incident have been misinterpreted in the reports, and that the player has publicly apologised for his error, the club is disappointed to learn of the transgression and will be conducting an internal investigation.”

Steffen is a United States internatioanl

AFP or licensors

Steffen is a United States internatioanl

Meanwhile, Chelsea welcome back Hakim Ziyech to the starting XI after the winger had missed the last six games with a hamstring injury.

During his absence, the Blues have won just once and dropped to sixth in the Premier League table.

There is also a start for Timo Werner, who is looking to end an 11-match goal drought.

The Germany striker looks set to play through the middle with Ziyech and Christian Pulisic out wide as Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham settle for places on the bench.

Chelsea XI: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell, Kovacic, Kante, Mount, Ziyech, Werner, Pulisic.

Substitutes: Kepa, Rudiger, Emerson, Jorginho, Gilmour, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Giroud.

Man City XI: Steffen, Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Sterling, Foden.

Substitutes: Carson, Aguero, Mendy, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Delas, Harwood-Bellis, Mbete.


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