Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola chose not to give a direct response when asked for a fitness update on Erling Haaland ahead of his team’s visit to Arsenal.
Haaland exited the Citizens’ last league game, a 3-1 win over Aston Villa at the Etihad on Sunday (February 12). After the game, Guardiola revealed that City’s medical team suggested that he didn’t need to risk leaving the Norwegian on for the second half (via 90min). The Cityzens were leading 3-0 lead at the break.
Ahead of the clash against the Gunners, scheduled for Wednesday (February 15), the Manchester City boss gave nothing away about Haaland’s status. He said during a press conference on Tuesday (as quoted by Manchester Evening News):
“We train this afternoon. Right now I don’t know. Yesterday was about recovery from Aston Villa. That’s all.”
Pep Guardiola has joined us and the press conference is underway #mcfc https://t.co/zxppSjMU5l
— Manchester City News (@ManCityMEN) February 14, 2023
Erling Haaland would undoubtedly be a major miss for Manchester City if he’s unable to suit up for the clash with the Premier League leaders. The striker, who got an assist against Villa, has recorded 31 goals and four assists in 28 games across competitions this term.
However, it’s worth noting that Haaland has failed to score in his last two Premier League games. Nevertheless, he’s still averaging a goal every 67 minutes in the league this term, having bagged 25 strikes in 21 appearances.
Manchester City look to beat Arsenal to blow title race wide open
Arsenal have enjoyed a largely untroubled stint atop the Premier League in recent months. The Gunners won four of their first five league games after the conclusion of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, including victories over rivals Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
A 1-0 defeat against Everton earlier this month seemed to open a window of opportunity for Manchester City. However, Pep Guardiola’s side failed to capitalise on that, losing by the same margin against Tottenham Hotspur. That was followed by Arsenal drawing 1-1 with Brentford last weekend. City made the most of it this time, beating Aston Villa 3-1 to close the gap on the Gunners.
Manchester City are chasing Arsenal down 😈 pic.twitter.com/xchUo1uIKH
— GOAL (@goal) February 12, 2023
Heading into the game on Wednesday, Mikel Arteta’s team hold a three-point advantage over Manchester City, having played a game fewer. The Cityzens need to win at the Emirates, where the Gunners are yet to lose in the league this term, to draw level with the league leaders.