Man City vs Nottingham Forest: Guardiola on Haaland rest, Gundogan ‘niggles’ & Alvarez impact
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Pep Guardiola faced the media on Tuesday afternoon, but was giving little away when asked about Manchester City’s team news.
The Catalan could be tempted to rest players for Wednesday’s game against Nottingham Forest, with Kyle Walker, Joao Cancelo, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland starting all five of City’s competitive games this season.
The Premier League champions also face a busy schedule, with six matches in 18 days before the international break next month.
Ahead of the clash with newly promoted Forest, Guardiola was asked if he will be tempted to rest Haaland, who netted a hat-trick at the weekend as City beat Crystal Palace 4-2.
“Tomorrow you will see it,” he responded with a smile, before explaining that Julian Alvarez will be the man to replace Haaland in the team when the time comes for the Norwegian to be rested.
“When Erling doesn’t play we are going to play Julian. That is almost sure.
“We are so impressed with his [Alvarez’s] pace, sense of his goals, his work ethic and many things.
Asked what had surprised him about Alvarez since the forward’s summer arrival, Guardiola said: “How good he is. I know him a little a bit [before signing]. I am surprised how good he is.
“He is so humble and always positive. Every training session he gives everything and I like these players.
“He was involved in two goals in the last game. He has a sense to be in the right position in the right moments. When he drops he has the qualities to play.”
Guardiola also revealed in his pre-match press conference that Ilkay Gundogan had a slight knock at the weekend which prevented him from starting in the victory over Palace, although he did come off the bench in the se
“Last game he had some niggles in his leg,” said the City manager. “I didn’t take the risk because of how important he is. He could have played. [He is] so important for goals and assists.”
City host Forest in a 7:30pm kick-off on Wednesday, in a game that will see former Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard face his old foes, along with current United loanee Dean Henderson.