Erling Haaland is expected to be back in action for Manchester City’s Premier League fixture against Southampton next Saturday. Sky Blues boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed that the Norwegian goalscoring machine ‘is getting better’ but is still recovering which is a massive boost ahead of a packed five-game run.
Haaland watched his side triumph over Liverpool from the stands this weekend, still hampered by a groin issue. But Guardiola insists it won’t be much longer until he is fit for selection again.
“Erling is getting better,” he said. “On Friday he felt a little bit better compared to the previous two days. It's five days to Southampton, so hopefully can still help us like he has all season.”
“The Players need to rest,” Guardiola added. “I was on holiday in my hometown in Catalonia, but they were with their national teams. After that, if you continue in the Champions League or FA Cup, you have a lot of games.
“So, stay away, then we have three days to prepare for Southampton, then Bayern Munich, Leicester, Sheffield United and Arsenal.”
Haaland picked up the injury during a 6-0 win over Burnley in the FA cup before the international break and hasn’t played since. Shortly after he joined his national team for their European Championship qualifiers but was sent back to Manchester after being assessed by Norway’s medical team.
The injury was once again assessed before the game against Liverpool, but Haaland was deemed unfit to play. Guardiola had been hopeful that his star man would get some game time, yet it wasn’t to be.
Speaking on the day of the match, Guardiola said: “We’ll see today. In the end the doctors and, especially, the player will decide how does he feel.
“Yesterday I spoke to him and he feels good but we’ll see what happens. Life is risks in these stages and you have to take it – he’s scored an incredible amount of goals – but in the past we have always scored a lot of goals in the season.”
City’s medical room is largely empty at the time of writing with only Phil Foden being the other notable absence. The England international recently underwent surgery for appendicitis and is set to make his way back onto the field in the next two to three weeks.