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Man City Champions League tie with Real Madrid set to be called off due to coronavirus

Manchester City's Champions League second leg against Real Madrid next week is set to be postponed after the Spanish giants' squad were placed in quarantine.

A player in Real's basketball team tested positive for coronavirus, which has led to the club to place the basketball and football teams in quarantine as they share the same facilities.

The development occurred on Thursday, the same day as La Liga announced that they would be suspending the domestic season for two weeks.

As things stand Champions League and Europa League fixtures are going ahead as planned where possible, but a UEFA source says there's "no way" City's[1] clash with Real at the Etihad on Tuesday can be played.

The onus is on Real Madrid to inform UEFA that they can't play, rather than tell City directly, and it is understood that may happen as early as today (Thursday).

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A Real Madrid statement issued on Thursday said: "Real Madrid C. F. announces that a member of our basketball first team has tested positive for coronavirus.

"The recommendation of remaining in quarantine has been followed with immediate effect, with this measure applied to both the basketball and football first teams, given that the two squads share the facilities at Real Madrid City.

"In addition, a decision has been made to close our training ground and it is recommended that all Real Madrid staff who work at Real Madrid City remain in quarantine.

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"The EuroLeague basketball match and the LaLiga football fixture scheduled for today and tomorrow will not be played."

It is unclear when the second leg will be rearranged for, with City 2-1 up from the first leg at the Bernabeu. UEFA are also holding an emergency meeting of stakeholders, including domestic leagues and players unions, on Tuesday to discuss a response to the coronavirus outbreak.

It follows speculation on Thursday that the Champions League and Europa League could be suspended with immediate effect. While that hasn't yet happened it looks increasingly like that UEFA will be forced into action next week as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread through Europe.

References :
  • City's (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
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    Manchester United squad vs LASK includes Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes

    Anthony Martial will not play for Manchester United against LASK due to injury and Aaron Wan-Bissaka might also miss out after he was not pictured with the squad that flew to Austria.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side made the trip across Europe on Wednesday afternoon as they prepare for their Europa League round-of-16 encounter against LASK on Thursday night.

    French forward Martial did not train with the rest of his United teammates at Carrington earlier in the day in the open session and Solskjaer confirmed in a press conference on Wednesday night that he will not be involved in Linz.[1]

    He is also a doubt for the trip to face Tottenham on Sunday.

    Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford both remain sidelined through injury, while Diogo Dalot has also not travelled.

    United have yet to lose to an Austrian team in European competition (W7 D1), winning each of the last six. United are currently on a 10-match unbeaten run under Solskjaer.

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    Tahith Chong has made the trip to Austria along with fellow youngsters Mason Greenwood, Brandon Williams and Angel Gomes. Dutch winger Chong committed his future to United earlier in the week by signing a new contract.

    Sergio Romero is expected to start the game in Austria on Thursday night, although first-choice goalkeeper David de Gea did travel along with January arrival Nathan Bishop. Lee Grant signed a new contract earlier in the month but is currently out with injury.

    Confirmed United squad members to face LASK

    De Gea, Romero, Bishop, Williams, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Tuanzebe, Bailly, Gomes, Pereira, Matic, McTominay, Fernandes, Fred, Mata, Greenwood, James, Chong, Ighalo

    References :
  • Solskjaer confirmed in a press conference on Wednesday night that he will not be involved in Linz. (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
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    Manchester City vs Arsenal Preview: How to Watch on TV, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

    11/3/20 - This game was postponed due to ​coronavirus concerns. A new date is yet to be confirmed.[1]

    From Emmanuel Adebayor and Gaël Clichy to Bacary Sagna and Samir Nasri - for years Manchester City have been happy to plunder Arsenal’s brightest talents, frequently handing the Gunners a thrashing on the pitch to add insult to injury.

    With Mikel Arteta controversially going in the other direction this season, Arsenal will hope that they might finally start having things their own way, and a Wednesday night showdown against a side who looked out of ideas in the Manchester derby on Sunday looks a great place to begin.

    Arsenal could make an unlikely entry back into contention for a Champions League spot with a victory, and though second-placed City are at best playing for pride already with Liverpool rampaging towards a 19th top-flight title, they will not want to give the Reds the satisfaction of lifting the Premier League trophy at Goodison Park by dropping points.

    Where to Watch When is Kick Off?​ ​TBC ​What Time is Kick Off? ​TBC ​Where is it Played? ​Etihad Stadium ​TV Channel/Live Stream? ​TBC Team News

    Manchester City could be without a number of key players, with Pep Guardiola unsure if Kevin De Bruyne ​will feature after he was surprisingly left out of Sunday's squad at Old Trafford with a shoulder injury, while top scorer Sergio Agüero was substituted against United with a thigh problem. 

    Aymeric Laporte meanwhile will be out for a few more weeks after picking up a hamstring injury against Real Madrid, while this won't be the match where Leroy Sané returns from a torn ACL with Guardiola confirming that the winger is 'still not 100% fit'.

    Calum Chambers will not feature again for the Gunners this season after undergoing knee surgery, while Lucas Torreira will join him in sitting out Arsenal's campaign after sustaining a fractured ankle from a heavy challenge in their FA Cup victory over Portsmouth. 

    While Kieran Tierney is back in training after December's shoulder injury this game will also be too soon for him, as with new signing Cédric Soares who is still recovering from a knee injury. Sead Kolašinac will not return until the end of March at least after walking off against Everton with a shoulder injury. Shkodran Mustafi is also a doubt, being assessed with a tight right thigh.

    Predicted Lineups ​Manchester City ​Ederson; Mendy, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Walker; Rodri, Gündoğan; Sterling, D. Silva, Mahrez; Jesus ​Arsenal ​Leno; Saka, Papastathopoulos, Luiz, Bellerín; Xhaka, Ceballos; Aubameyang, Özil, Pépé; Lacazette Head to Head Record

    Arsenal will head to the Etihad looking to avoid defeat for the first time in seven games against Man City. 

    Indeed, some of the Gunners' greatest humblings in recent years have come in this fixture, from a passive 3-0 loss at the Emirates ​during the tail end of Freddie Ljungberg's short reign to an unfortunate sequence in 2018 when they lost 3-0 to the Cityzens twice within the space of seven days.

    They have also had some memorable results against their opponents in recent years, defeating them 2-1 via an Arsène Wenger masterclass on their way to the 2017 FA Cup and dismantling Manuel Pellegrini's side 3-0 to win the 2014 Community Shield.

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    Prior to a flat Manchester derby loss for which Ederson was largely, if not totally, responsible, City were showing signs of making something out of what was previously a disappointing season, with quietly efficient victories against Sheffield Wednesday and ​Aston Villa[2], t​he latter in the Carabao Cup final no less, accompanied by one of the club's most audacious European away victories against ​Real Madrid[3].

    City are still some distance away from ​Liverpool[4] - 25 points to be exact - but look set to ensure that there will be no danger of them dropping out of the European places (although they may have already taken care of that off the pitch).

    Arsenal have looked tidy without necessarily creating too many chances, dispatching teams consistently but with no shortage of nervous defending either side of their dramatic Europa League exit to Olympiacos.

    A victory on Wednesday would ensure that Arsenal remain unbeaten in the Premier League in 2020, having gone eight matches in the competition without a loss this year.

    Here's how both sides have done in their last five matches:

    ​Manchester City Arsenal​ ​Manchester United 1-0 Manchester City (8/3) ​Arsenal 1-0 West Ham (7/3) ​Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Manchester City (4/3) ​Portsmouth 0-2 Arsenal (2/3) ​Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester City (1/3) ​Arsenal 1-2 Olympiacos (27/2) ​Real Madrid 1-2 Manchester City (26/2) ​Arsenal 3-2 Everton (23/2) ​Leicester 0-1 Manchester City (22/2) ​Olympiacos 0-1 Arsenal (20/2) Prediction​

    ​City[5] have definitely had Arsenal's number in recent years, but with De Bruyne and Agüero absent for this match, and ​Arsenal[6] just a few final passes short of a good performance in recent weeks, Arteta will fancy his chances of pulling off a shock.

    City are still City, however, and the chances of them losing two league games in a row are about as slim as it gets.

    With both sides forced to resort to some of their defensive deputies, and Arteta likely to start his strongest lineup otherwise, there are almost certainly goals in this one, and a big away draw for the Gunners could be the result of this face-off between master and apprentice.

    Prediction: Manchester City 2-2 Arsenal​

    References :
  • ​coronavirus concerns (www.90min.com)
  • ​Aston Villa (www.90min.com)
  • ​Real Madrid (www.90min.com)
  • ​Liverpool (www.90min.com)
  • ​City (www.90min.com)
  • ​Arsenal (www.90min.com)
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