Manchester City coach Guardiola gives Haaland injury update: will he play against Liverpool?
City striker Haaland suffered another ankle issue playing for Norway against the Faroe Islands in the international break.
The Premier League resumes after the international break on Saturday with a mouthwatering clash between treble winners Manchester City and title hopefuls Liverpool. And there’s one question on everybody’s mind - will Erling Haaland be fit to play for Pep Guardiola’s team at the Etihad?
The Norwegian striker has hardly been out of the headlines since moving to England, scoring 52 goals in 53 matches in his debut season, following by 17 in 18 appearances this term. That includes a Premier League record of 49 goals in only 47 games.
What injury has Erling Haaland been suffering with?
Haaland has scored doubles against Manchester United, Young Boys and Chelsea in three of his last four appearances but was forced off at half time because of an ankle issue in the other, a home fixture against Bournemouth. The fact that he then started City’s next two encounters (in Switzerland and at Stamford Bridge) suggested the injury had long been forgotten about but his ankle flared up once again while playing for Norway against the Faroe Islands in a friendly last week.
Norwegian team doctor Ola Sand revealed the 23-year-old has suffered an ankle sprain and that he would “receive some treatment and, above all, rest.” Whether that “rest” included Saturday’s fixture against Liverpool initially remained something of a mystery, which Guardiola went some way to cleaning up in his pre-match press conference.
What did Pep Guardiola say about Haaland’s fitness?
The former Barcelona coach revealed Haaland had taken part in training on Thursday “with some niggles” but that he expected him to train again on Friday and that he would “hopefully” play against the Reds.
Jürgen Klopp’s side have the joint best defensive record in the Premier League so far this season but it looks as if their back line will be put to the test by the English top flight’s leading scorer.