Haaland will miss Man City match in title blow to Guardiola but duo ruled fit

    Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Erling Haaland will miss the match against Brighton on Thursday night.

    City are four points behind league leaders Arsenal but have two games in hand over Mikel Arteta’s men.


    Haaland has been ruled out of the Brighton match

    But they cannot afford any slip-ups and need their key players in top form while the news that Haaland will miss the match against Brighton could be crucial.

    Guardiola confirmed the injury news, though he did confirm Phil Foden and John Stones are back.

    “Erling Haaland is not ready for tomorrow – the other two they are ready,” he said in his press conference on Wednesday.

    “[It’s] not a big issue [for Haaland] but not allowed for this game.”

    Haaland came off against Real Madrid last week in the Champions League after telling Guardiola that he was exhausted.

    He subsequently missed the following match against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final, a game in which City emerged 1-0 winners.

    And the Norway international will now miss a second match in a row to give City a puzzle up front.

    Haaland is the club’s top scorer this season with 31 goals in all competitions and no player has scored more than him in the Premier League (20).

    Haaland might be missing but Foden has returned to training


    Haaland might be missing but Foden has returned to trainingCredit: Getty
    Guardiola cannot afford any points lost from now until the end of the season


    Guardiola cannot afford any points lost from now until the end of the seasonCredit: Getty

    However, City’s record without the 23-year-old has been sensational, losing just once in the 13 games he has missed – a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle in the third round of the Carabao Cup.

    The return of Stones and Foden will be heralded as a huge boost, too, with the two players among City’s most important players this season.

    Gabby Agbonlahor and Alan Brazil left shocked by Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne’s request to be subbed off in their defeat to Real Madrid

    Foden has elevated his game, scoring 22 goals and assisting 10 in all competitions and making him one of the favourites to win the PFA Player’s Player of the Year.

    Stones, meanwhile, allowed Guardiola to push the defender into midfield to add another body in attack in a crucial tactical switch this season.

    The Catalan coach added: “We have had a lot of problems with important players with injuries, but we are still there.

    “We are in the final of the FA Cup, we made the latter stages of the Champions League and in the Premier League we are there.

    “But you can arrive to the end like this and in one week lose all titles, but the team have behaved unbelievably this season again.”

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