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Jurgen Klopp to miss Liverpool’s trip to Chelsea after positive Covid test

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Jurgen Klopp will miss Liverpool’s trip to Chelsea on Sunday after testing positive for Covid-19.

The Reds boss reported mild symptoms ahead of the match, and is now isolating.

Reds assistant manager Pep Lijnders will take charge of the side, although three members of the club’s backroom staff have also tested positive and will miss the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Klopp addressed the media ahead of the match on Friday, saying that three players had also tested positive and would miss the fixture.

The club have confirmed that no further players had tested positive since that round of testing though, and they have not expressed a desire to try and get the match postponed.

“It is not so cool at the moment,” Klopp told the press on Friday.

“I’m not able to say who [has tested positive] but it will be pretty clear on the teamsheet the day after tomorrow.

“Postponement? Not yet but we’ve never had this outbreak. It’s more every day another one, a few staff. It feels like a lottery.”

Liverpool have been hit hard by Covid cases in recent weeks, with Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones all testing positive and missing recent fixtures against Newcastle and Tottenham.

Their Boxing Day clash with Leeds United was also called off due to positive cases at Leeds.

Liverpool go into the crucial clash at Chelsea seeking to recover following their 1-0 defeat at Leicester City on Tuesday, with the hosts also suffering from their own illness and injury issues.

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Pep Guardiola to be offered Holland job when he decides to leave Man City

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Pep Guardiola will be offered the chance to take Total Football back home when he decides to leave Manchester City – by becoming manager of Holland.

The KNVB (Dutch FA) have drawn up plans to convince the City boss that he should realise his dream of becoming an international coach with the Oranje once his Etihad reign comes to an end.

Guardiola, 51, has a contract with City that expires in the summer of 2023.

And the Premier League champions are hoping the Catalan can be persuaded to extend his stay in Manchester even further.

The Dutch sounded out Guardiola about his future plans before he signed a new two-year extension with City last August.

They were told that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss had unfinished business with the Blues.

But a future link-up was not discounted.

Guardiola is represented by his brother, Pere, who recently joined forces with influential Dutch agency SEG.

He has made no secret that he harbours an ambition to manage a top international nation.

And the prospect of taking charge of the country of his mentor Johan Cruyff would be tantalising given it was Holland’s brilliant team of the 1970s that introduced Total Football to the world.

Cruyff brought Guardiola through from Barcelona’s youth team to play as a deep-lying midfielder in the team that won the club’s first Champions League in 1992.

The late Dutchman’s influence on the City boss is so profound that Guardiola once said: “I knew nothing about football before knowing Cruyff.”

His coaching beliefs have been shaped by the Total Football philosophy that had Cruyff at its heart when Holland reached the 1974 World Cup final before losing to West Germany.

The KNVB turned to 70-year-old Louis van Gaal for a third time after sacking Frank de Boer in the summer following a disappointing Euros.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang provides update after return to Arsenal for heart tests

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has confirmed he’s “absolutely fine” after returning to London for health checks.

The Arsenal forward was away at AFCON with Gabon when he experienced some heart issues.

A scan revealed possible issues after Aubameyang tested positive for Covid 19 in the lead up to the tournament.

The Gunners recalled the 32-year-old, who is currently not being selected by Mikel Arteta following a disciplinary breach.

Aubameyang has taken to social media to share that he is “completely healthy” following further tests.

He said on Instagram : “Hi guys, I came back to London to do some additional checks, and I’m very happy to say that my heart is absolutely fine and I’m completely healthy!! Really appreciate all the messages over the last few days and I’m already back at it”

Gabon boss Patrice Neveu revealed that Arsenal were keen to get their player back once news of his possible issues broke.

He said, as quoted by Sky Sports : “What I know is that they’ve been Covid free for the last 72 hours. We couldn’t arrange an MRI for them, and as a result they couldn’t train.

“It was really annoying for them to stay in their rooms. We made the decision yesterday with the President and under pressure from the clubs too, because they’re worried so that [Aubameyang] should go back to Arsenal and Mario [Lemina] back to Nice.”

Despite Mikel Arteta’s recent shunning of the forward, Neveu did admit that it was the club’s right to recall their player.

Aubameyang is currently out of the first team picture as his future remains up in the air.

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AFCON 2021: Nigeria to play Tunisia in Round of 16

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Nigeria will take on Tunisia in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16.

This was confirmed on Thursday, following the completion of all group games in the competition.

The Super Eagles finished top of Group D ahead of Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.

The Carthage Eagles lost 1-0 to Gambia in their final Group F clash.

Nigeria’s match against Tunisia will be played on Saturday, January 23.

Kick off is 8pm.

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