Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has indicated that striker Erling Haaland may be fit to face Fulham at the weekend.
The Norwegian missed Saturday’s 1-0 win at Leicester due to fever and a foot injury sustained during the goalless draw at Borussia Dortmund last weekend and was withdrawn at half-time. At the time, Guardiola did not indicate a return to action and it was expected that City’s top scorer would miss the clash with the Foxes.
But, speaking ahead of City’s final Champions League group game with Sevilla, the Catalan boss ruled out a return against the Spaniards as he gave an update on Haaland’s progress.
“Erling will not be available for tomorrow,” Guardiola confirmed. “He feels better compared to Saturday and Sunday, but not 100%. We don’t want to take a risk, it makes no sense. Hopefully, he will be back for Fulham.”
The news will be welcomed by the faithful, who have already seen the Norwegian meat shield hit 22 goals. And, with just four games to go before the World Cup, City fans will be hoping for a few more before he has a month off.
Norway failed to qualify for the World Cup and while other Premier League stars will be performing in 20-30 degree heat, Haaland will be readying himself for the trip to Leeds on 28th December.
City face Sevilla in Wednesday night’s dead rubber match, having already qualified for the knock-out stage as group winners. While other group winners are still to be decided, they could face Bruges or Porto from group B, Bayern or Inter from group C or PSG or Benfica from group H. Other possibilities are Sporting Lisbon, Eintracht Frankfurt or Marseille, who are in Spurs’ group, AC Milan or Salzburg, who are in Chelsea’s group and either Real Madrid, Leipzig or Shakhtar Donetsk from group F. City could also face Napoli if Liverpool beat them by four or more clear goals.
The draw for the knockout stage is on Monday 7th November at 12pm and we’ll be live reporting all the fun as UEFA try to get us out of the competition as early as possible.