Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is concerned about the potential increase of coronavirus cases due to the international break next month.
On Wednesday, City will be away to Everton in a game postponed 4 hours before kick-off, on December 28.
The time came when City, Newcastle, Fulham and Aston Villa had to shut down matches and shut down their training areas following an increase in positive tests that caused fears of the season to stop.
The plight has eased considerably with only two of the 2,915 players and club staff tested in the previous seven days, published in the last Premier League figures on February 14.
But Guardiola feels that the international games next month will be a challenge.
World Cup qualifiers are to be held in the USA, Asia, North and Central America and Europe, and the final Cup of Nations matches are scheduled in Africa.
“The Premier League should be concerned about this,” said Guardiola.
“The only way to be protected from this virus is to stay at home and social distance. No contact, don’t travel, don’t move. Now the players are going to their national teams and it is difficult afterwards to control it. So, unfortunately, something is going to rise.
“I would love to say it is not going to happen but from experience, it happened in two or three waves already. If you move, you take a risk to be contaminated.”
The number of positive tests occurring between the October and November international breaks was actually lower than the week immediately before the first break.
However, numbers did start to rise after the November break, going from 10 to 14 before reaching a peak of 36 in the period from 4-10 January, which was around the time when Villa and Fulham were particularly badly affected.
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