Villa return positive Covid-19 cases – Gerrard’s side ready for Norwich

A “couple” of players and staff at Aston Villa have tested positive for Covid-19 but Steven Gerrard is insistent that they are ready to face Norwich.

Gerrard has confirmed that “a couple of staff members and a couple of players” have tested positive for the virus.

The Liverpool legend cancelled training on Sunday, but those who were not affected returned on Monday as training went ahead as scheduled. Gerrard has suggested that his side are ready to face the Canaries on Tuesday evening.

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“I haven’t changed any protocols, I have just listened to the guidance and tried to stick to all the guidelines,” said Gerrard.

“I made the decision yesterday, because it was a recovery day, and because we didn’t have a pitch session, and on the back of receiving a couple of positive cases, I thought it was just common sense to just cancel the session.

“We re-tested this morning and we have got a couple of staff and a couple of players missing for the foreseeable future but the vast majority have come through the test this morning and we look forward to competing against Norwich tomorrow.”

Gerrard did not want to name those players who tested positive, and continued: “I will stick to the medical confidentiality.

“I want to wish those who have the positive cases well. They are isolating now so obviously we send our best wishes to them. I will speak to them all this afternoon and fingers crossed it is contained now.”

With Gerrard not naming the players, it is not known if those who have tested positive featured in Aston Villa’s defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.

Gerrard also revealed that Marvelous Nakamba is set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering an injury at Anfield.

The news is another blow for Villa, who last week lost Leon Bailey for “a number of weeks” after he limped off against Manchester City with a quad problem.

“He has had an MRI scan which has shown a knee issue so he will be missing this side of Christmas for sure and he will see a specialist on Tuesday, and we will have a further update then,” Gerrard said of Nakamba.

The trip to Carrow Road sees Gerrard come up against the man he replaced at Villa Park – Dean Smith.

Smith was sacked in November following a run of five successive Premier League defeats, bringing to an end his three-year spell in charge of his boyhood club.

Smith, appointed Norwich manager just a week after his dismissal at Villa Park, has an in-depth knowledge of the players his side will face and Gerrard said: “That is something we can’t change.

“He spent a long time here building a good team and a good squad and he had success here so he knows the players very well.

“That is the fascinating thing about this game. He knows my players well but both managers have now put their stamps on their individual teams and may the best team win.”

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