Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel: I'd be 'very angry' if clubs bend COVID-19 rules

Guardiola: I constantly learn from Thomas Tuchel (0:34)

Pep Guardiola praises Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel ahead of their Premier League match. (0:34)

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said he will be "very angry" if rival Premier League clubs are using COVID-19 as an excuse to postpone matches.

Burnley's game against Leicester City became the latest fixture to be called off on Friday with the league citing "COVID-19 cases and injuries" in a statement announcing the decision.

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Liverpool were successful in postponing their Carabao Cup semifinal, first leg against Arsenal after an outbreak which manager Jurgen Klopp later said contained a host of false positive tests. Arsenal are debating whether to apply for Sunday's north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur to be rearranged as they struggle to meet the league's criteria of having 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper available due to a mixture of COVID, injuries, suspensions and players away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Clubs must have COVID-19 cases in their camp before other factors including injuries and suspensions are taken into consideration but asked if some teams were bending the rules to get games postponed, Tuchel replied: "I strongly, strongly hope that is not the case because otherwise I would be very, very angry.

"We are doing everything to make games happen and we were made to play when we thought we should maybe not. So I can only strongly hope that the rules are the same rules for everybody."

Chelsea have suffered multiple COVID-19 cases in recent months had a request to call off their trip to Wolves rejected last month. The game ended 0-0 as Tuchel's side fell behind leaders Manchester City, who they face on Saturday.

Tuchel also said that Andreas Christensen has tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and will miss the game against City, who will be seeking to extend their 10-point lead at the top of the table.

Pushed on whether defeat at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday would end Chelsea's title hopes, Tuchel said: "Maybe. Who knows? The biggest difference so far in the season as far as I'm concerned is they dealt better with injuries and they dealt better with the COVID situation.

"Maybe it is unlucky, maybe they do it better or whatever but they have less injuries to key players, less days out. They do not suffer from COVID as we did over many weeks. This is the huge difference because we had some draws in the season that were unnecessary and if you have your full squad, you create a certain atmosphere that pushed everybody to the edge.

"You need to be on the edge and at the very highest level if you want to compete with Man City. They are the benchmark. They are the best team in England right now. This is something we have to admit."

City manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday there are additional COVID-19 cases at the club following last week's outbreak, although he did not specify whether the new cases were among players or members of staff. The number of additional cases was not specified.

Last Thursday, City confirmed Guardiola and his assistant Juanma Lillo were among seven first-team players and 14 backroom staff who were isolating for COVID-19 related reasons.

"We have some new cases, they want privacy so I can't say," Guardiola told reporters on Friday, adding some players who missed the Swindon game will remain unavailable after continuing to return positive tests.

"We played Aston Villa with 11 first team players. The last six, seven games there are four or five academy players on the bench. We are in the same situation as all other clubs.

"Before we tried to plan the next few days but what we've learned is to take it day by day, take decisions a few hours before a training session or game because we can be okay and then in four or five hours we have positive cases."