What the Covid outbreak at Man City means for League Cup meeting with Man United

Confirmation that the upcoming League Cup semi-final meeting between Manchester City and Manchester United is set to be rescheduled, if the former are unable to carry out their commitments to the competition, has this evening been forthcoming online.

Etihad outbreak

The major talking point in English football today has of course surrounded ongoings at Man City.

The Sky Blues have endured a difficult festive period, which first saw Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker, along with two members of the club’s backroom staff, test positive for Covid-19.

Manchester City have confirmed that Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker and another two members of staff have tested positive for coronavirus.

Get well soon 🙏

— Goal (@goal) December 25, 2020

In turn, both players were forced to sit out their side’s meeting with Newcastle over the weekend (though City nevertheless emerged with a 2-0 win).

The days since, however, have only seen the concerning situation at the Etihad continue to worsen.

On the back of confirmation this afternoon that City had seen a further spike in positive Covid cases, it was swiftly announced that the club’s scheduled Premier League meeting with Everton had been postponed:

Man City’s fixture at Everton, due to be played at 20:00 GMT this evening, has been postponed following a Premier League Board meeting

Full statement:

— Premier League (@premierleague) December 28, 2020

Derby not in doubt

In turn, immediate doubts surrounding City’s upcoming stretch of fixtures also surfaced.

The Citizens are pencilled in for a Premier League showdown with Chelsea this weekend, before another high-profile outing – in the form of a League Cup semi-final clash with neighbours Manchester United – three days later.

Should Pep Guardiola’s men be unable to make the trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, the Premier League would once again simply step in, to postpone the fixture to a later date.

Pep Guardiola

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 30: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James Park on November 30, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It had remained altogether unclear, however, what the case would be if City’s affected contingent had not recovered in time for the Manchester derby.

The League Cup is of course organised by the Football League, not the Premier League.

One club to have already been forced to forfeit their place in the competition this season, meanwhile, were Leyton Orient, after a Covid outbreak at Brisbane Road saw Tottenham handed a buoy into the 4th-round back in September.

The Manchester City faithful, however, need not fret.

As confirmed online this evening, the Sky Blues will in fact be eligible for a postponement, if they are unable to fulfill their final-4 commitments next week:

Unlike Leyton Orient, #MCFC will be granted a postponement if they can’t fulfil their @Carabao_Cup semi-final with #MUFC. The forfeit rule, applied to Orient, is only for games up to and including round four…

— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) December 28, 2020

It is added that the fixture would be rescheduled ‘at the earliest reasonable opportunity’, if a postponement is, in the end, deemed necessary:

The rules also specifically reference the semi-finals stating “reasonable endeavours” will be taken to rearrange the fixture “at the earliest reasonable opportunity”. Only if that’s not possible would an abandonment be considered at which (unlikely) point #MUFC would go through.

— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) December 28, 2020

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