Erling Haaland a doubt for Arsenal clash

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Manchester City forward Erling Haaland is set to miss the title race clash against Arsenal this midweek.

Erling Haaland remains a doubt for Manchester City’s top-of-the-table clash with Arsenal on Wednesday, Pep Guadiola stated, after the striker was forced off with an injury during the 3-1 victoty over Aston Villa on Sunday.

Haaland was substituted at half-time and Guardiola says the former Dortmund player will be assessed ahead of the trip to the Emirates after taking a knock to his leg.

A win over Arsenal will see City move to the top of the Premier League table following the Gunners 1-1 draw against Brentford on Saturday.

“Erling has a kick and we will see in the next days how he will do,” Guardiola told a news conference on Sunday.

“At halftime I spoke with the doctors and they said maybe don’t take risks at 3-0 up and I agree with the doctors. Maybe if it was more tight then I don’t do it.

“I think it is not injured but tomorrow [Monday] we will see. Maybe [he can play] Wednesday but if there is some risks he is not going to play.”

Guardiola has been critical of his team since the turn of the year, particularly after games home and away against Tottenham Hotspur.

But the City boss revealed he has sensed a change in his squad on the training pitch and believes his players are “focused” on the title race.

“The way we are behaving in the training sessions, we improve a lot,” he said. “Everyone is so focused. We play a really good game [against Villa].

“In general, a very good game. I’m happy with that and the team, it was important to take this opportunity to reduce the gap [with Arsenal].”

Guardiola also revealed he is planning to speak to Haaland, Rodri and Riyad Mahrez after there appeared to be a disagreement on the pitch about who should take a penalty against Villa late in the first half.

Haaland is the designated taker but Rodri became involved in a decision to hand the ball to Mahrez, who scored to put City 3-0 up.

“I don’t know, I need to talk to them,” Guardiola said. “Normally Erling [Haaland] is the first taker and Riyad [Mahrez] is the second one, Rodri was involved so we will see what they say tomorrow.”

 

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