Pep Guardiola fears a fresh outbreak of Covid-19 could sabotage Manchester City's title bid and derail the entire Premier League season.
Leaders City are in pole position to land a third title in four years and can go 10 points clear of the chasing pack with victory tonight at Everton.
But Guardiola is concerned a fresh coronavirus outbreak, when players start flying around the world again on international duty next month, could bring a halt to the season – just like last year.
“I think the Premier League should be concerned about this,” said Guardiola. “All the leagues should be concerned.
“I know the national federations need to play, for the qualification for the friendly games, for their preparation for the Euros in summer time, this is normal.
“But the reason why there were a lot of cases in the Premier League and now there are no cases is because people don’t move. It's just home and training centre, game, then home, no more than this.
“Here we are in a bubble and every two days we are tested. The moment you take planes and go to other places, everything can happen."
Guardiola added: “Now the players are going to the national teams and after it’s difficult to control it, so I think something is going to rise, unfortunately.
“I would love to say or to guess it’s not going to happen, but from experience it happened in two or three waves already worldwide, so if you move you take a risk to be contaminated.
“The players are going to the national teams, they know the situation, we’ll tell them to be careful.
“I'm pretty sure the national teams have protocols, but you need nothing to be contaminated.
“Hopefully it’s going to go well and the players and me and everyone, if we move or we travel, we have to know exactly what we have to do.”
Tonight's game at Everton has been rearranged after the original fixture was called off on December 28, just hours before kick-off following a Covid outbreak in the City camp.
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