Football: Soccer-LaLiga returns amid spike in COVID-19 cases


MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish soccer returns to motion this weekend after the winter break amid a spike in COVID-19 cases amongst gamers and workers.

By Thursday greater than 90 constructive cases have been confirmed by groups and plenty of gamers will miss the following spherical of La Liga video games and presumably subsequent week’s Spanish Cup spherical of 32 matches.

Among them are Real Madrid striker Vinicius Junior and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, Atletico Madrid forwards Joao Felix and Antoine Griezmann plus Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, midfielder Gavi and defender Jordi Alba.

Atleti coach Diego Simeone and captain Koke are additionally among the many 5 new cases nL1N2TF0FD the membership introduced on Thursday.

They will miss Sunday’s conflict at dwelling to in-form Rayo Vallecano, who’re fourth in standings, one level forward of Atletico and in the Champions League qualifying zone.

That is unhealthy information for the champions as Simeone is going through elevated strain having misplaced 4 successive league matches for the primary time because the Argentine took cost in 2011. His function has come underneath scrutiny from supporters and the media.

Barcelona even have issues forward of Sunday’s journey to Real Mallorca with 10 gamers on their COVID-19 listing. Midfielder Philippe Coutinho, defender Sergino Dest and winger Ez Abde are the most recent to check constructive, the membership stated on Thursday.

The Catalans had already been hit by a variety of COVID cases together with Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti, Gavi, Clement Lenglet, Dani Alves, Jordi Alba and Alejandro Balde.

Barca, who final performed in the league in a 1-1 draw at Sevilla on Dec. 21, are seventh on 28 factors from 18 video games.

It was a much-improved Barcelona after a month underneath the tutelage of latest supervisor Xavi Hernandez who managed some extent in opposition to second-placed Sevilla, who’ve 38, eight factors adrift of leaders Real Madrid however with a sport in hand.

Sevilla will play at Cadiz on Monday with three constructive cases confirmed, whereas Real make the brief drive to Madrid’s suburbs to face Getafe on Sunday with 4 new COVID-19 cases.

Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga returned constructive assessments on Wednesday together with Vinicius Jr and Courtois.

Luka Modric, Rodrygo, Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale, Marcelo, Andriy Lunin, Isco and David Alaba have additionally examined constructive this month.

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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