Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has hinted that he may risk Erling Haaland in the Premier League clash against Liverpool on Saturday (April 1).
Haaland was forced to withdraw from Norway’s UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers against Spain and Georgia due to a groin injury. Doubts have grown over his availability for the crucial encounter with Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Guardiola has given an update on Haaland’s fitness, saying that he may take a chance on the Norweigan frontman. The Spaniard said in his pre-match press conference (via BBC Sport):
“The doctors and player will decide if he feels good. We’ll see. Life is about risks, and sometimes you have to take them.”
Haaland has been scoring goals for fun since arriving at the Etihad from Borussia Dortmund last summer. He has bagged 42 goals in 37 appearances across competitions. He has netted 28 goals in 26 league games, so Guardiola is eager for Haaland to feature against Liverpool.Manchester City trail Arsenal in the title race by eight points. They will move within five points of the Gunners with a win against the Merseysiders. While Haaland might be risked against Klopp’s side, Phil Foden won’t, as he’s sidelined. The English attacker has had his appendix removed, and Guardiola thinks he will be back in two or three weeks.
Liverpool boss Klopp gives fitness update on duo ahead of Manchester City trip
Liverpool make the trip to the Etihad desperately in need of a positive result. They’re at risk of missing out on UEFA Champions League qualification. The Merseysiders are sixth, trailing fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur by seven points but have two games in hand.However, Klopp has ruled Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita out of their clash at Manchester City. He said in his pre-match press conference (via Liverpool Echo):
“Naby is out. He came back with a muscle injury from the national team. We will see how long it takes. Thiago is in a good way but is not part of team training yet. He will probably be part of next week’s training.”
Thiago and Keita have been hindered by constant injury issues this season. The Spanish midfielder has managed 24 appearances while Keita has featured just 13 times. They are both set to miss the vital game at the Etihad.Thiago has a problem with his hip inductor. His absence has been felt, with Liverpool lacking control and creativity in midfield. Meanwhile, Keita has endured hamstring and muscular issues throughout the season.