Erling Haaland injury update issued by Pep Guardiola as Grealish plan teased

In pictures: Crvena zvezda v Man City

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that he is not expecting Erling Haaland to feature against Crystal Palace this weekend. The striker has been ruled out for the last two matches with a bone stress reaction in his future, and the issue is still being monitored.

Haaland has not featured for City since his side tasted defeat against Aston Villa on December 6, with a date still not planned for his return. Guardiola is therefore expecting to be without the ex-Borussia Dortmund star when his side hosts Crystal Palace on Saturday as they look to close the gap on league leaders Arsenal.

Asked about Haaland’s condition, Guardiola said: “(He) arrived today, we see the doctors and we will see. He’s had treatment [away.] Hopefully, he can travel to Saudi, tomorrow after the game, we see if he plays the first game or the second. I don’t think so [play vs Palace], maybe he surprises me.”

Guardiola was then pushed about whether he was truly concerned about the injury, to which he replied: “No. Not fractured, just stress. Sometimes players recover quickly, longer. Day by day, week by week, how he feels. The moment he doesn’t have pain he will play.”

Don’t miss… Man Utd ‘already in contact’ for Casemiro replacement with Ratcliffe’s approval[LATEST]

Julian Alvarez therefore looks the likeliest candidate to lead the line for City at the Etihad Stadium, with winger Phil Foden also capable of playing in the false nine role when required.

Guardiola hinted that a position change could be in the works for Jack Grealish further down the line as well after the ex-England international spoke of how he views himself solely as a left-winger. Asked about whether training was ongoing to help Grealish transition into a different role, Guardiola said: “We don’t have time to work. Yesterday, recovery, today is pre-match. We don’t have time, to understand without training sessions. Sometimes in 10-15 minutes we can do it, Jack can understand immediately. He can play in different positions, in the middle. He’s a typical number ten.

  • Support fearless journalism
  • Read The Daily Express online, advert free
  • Get super-fast page loading

“At Villa he played as a winger, at the beginning when he arrived he played false nine. He has to demand himself to score goals, win games, assists. He keeps the ball, makes passes. Last two games he scores goals. Starts a little bit late, many things happen, injuries. Hopefully, he can take the rhythm as soon as possible.”

Guardiola’s comments could be an indicator that Grealish is trialled through the middle if his injury problems continue to stack up, though academy product Micah Hamilton emerged with credit after scoring in the Champions League in midweek and may have staked his claim for a Premier League opportunity.

Source: Read Full Article