Manchester City could be without Erling Haaland for their trip to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City on Saturday afternoon. The Norwegian striker was withdrawn at half-time during the Blues’ Champions League encounter against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday due to a knock and illness.
City drew 0-0 with the German side at Signal Iduna Park in their fifth group-stage game. The result meant Pep Guardiola’s side secured top spot in Group G with a fixture remaining, while Dortmund also guaranteed their place in the next round.
Haaland, who has scored an impressive 22 goals in 15 appearances for City in all competitions since joining from Dortmund this summer, is now a doubt for their match against the Foxes on Saturday. The 22-year-old scored twice in City’s 3-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion in their last Premier outing.
What has Guardiola said?
With qualification for the last-16 of the Champions League now confirmed, Guardiola will now be able to focus on domestic competitions. The Blues could play an inexperienced side in their final European group-stage game against Sevilla next Wednesday, while naming a stronger starting XI in their upcoming Premier League fixtures and EFL Cup fixtures, but will Haaland be part of his plans due to injury?
“Erling didn’t feel good, he had a little bit of a fever before the game,” Guardiola explained, when speaking to BT Sport. “Joao [Cancelo] as well, has a knock in his foot. I saw him [look] tired, Joao as well. That’s why we changed it, and in that period we struggled a lot.”
Speaking later in the post-match press conference, Guardiola provided further detail: "[There were] three things. I saw him so tired. Second one, he had a little bit of influenza in his body. Like Joao - Joao had a fever," he explained.
"Then the third, he had a knock in his foot. That's why he was not able to play the second half. I spoke with [the medical staff] at half-time and they were a little bit concerned, but I saw him walking more or less normally. We will see."
The comments might suggest that Haaland could be unavailable for City’s trip to Leicester this weekend. If not fit, Guardiola may opt to start Julian Alvarez in the No.9 role at the King Power, or revert to their use of a false-nine as seen last campaign.