Pep refuses to rule Haaland out of Liverpool game
Manchester City forward Erling Haaland is a doubt for Saturday’s Premier League home game against Liverpool but may be risked, according to manager Pep Guardiola, as his team continues to chase leaders Arsenal.
Haaland, who joined City this season from Borussia Dortmund, has scored 42 goals in 37 matches in all competitions, but suffered a groin injury against Burnley on March 18, and pulled out of Norway’s squad for their Euro 2024 qualifiers.
“Erling is recovering; in the end, the doctors and, most importantly, the player will decide how he feels,” Guardiola said at a news conference on Friday.
“(Thursday) I spoke with him, he feels good, but we’ll see. Life is full of risks, and we’ll have to take them at this point.”
Any extended absence for Haaland would be bad news for City’s pursuit of Arsenal, who leads the league by eight points despite having played one more game. To avoid a double-digit deficit, City must defeat Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool.
City, who are already without forward Phil Foden for up to three weeks after having his appendix removed, will be hoping Haaland can play a key role in their Champions League quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich, which kicks off on April 11 at the Etihad Stadium.
However, Guardiola was confident City can weather the storm should the 22-year-old be sidelined.
“We’ve scored a lot of goals this season, and he’s scored a lot of goals,” he said. “But since we’ve been here, we’ve always scored a lot of goals.”
Guardiola also stated that sixth-placed Liverpool, who have finished second to City three times in the last ten years but have been inconsistent this season, are always a dangerous team to play.
“They continue to be an exceptional team,” he said. “My opinion does not change for a season of ups and downs; every club can have these ups and downs in a single season.”
Later on Saturday, Arsenal, who are chasing their first league title since 2003-04, will host 14th-placed Leeds United.