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Erling Haaland ruled out of Newcastle clash, confirms Pep Guardiola

Published at :January 12, 2024 at 11:15 PM
Modified at :January 13, 2024 at 11:42 AM
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Rajarshi Shukla

The Norwegian star has missed the last few games due to injury

Erling Haaland is still recovering from a foot injury, according to Pep Guardiola, but Kevin De Bruyne might start against Newcastle.

Before City’s FA Cup debut against Huddersfield, the Norwegian striker has resumed training, but he is still not ready to play in a competitive game.

Guardiola has stated time and time again that he doesn’t intend to take any chances with the prolific goal scorer, and it appears that the manager has remained true to his word even though the player’s absence would last for nine games. In addition, John Stones’ foot issue prevents him from playing.

Speaking to reporters, Guardiola said: “Erling is out and John are out.”

However, he “hopes” that Jack Grealish will be “back today” as he recovers from a viral infection:

After missing five months of play, De Bruyne returned to competitive action during the FA Cup victory over Huddersfield. Guardiola disagrees with the player, who believes he still has more work to do before he can start.

“What I saw yesterday he looks really good and dynamic,” he said. “The minutes he played were really good, better than the training session before the Huddersfield game where he was a little bit now what he is.

“It’s normal when you come from five months of injury to have highs and lows in training. He is getting better. We have a game, then we will do four or five training sessions in Abu Dhabi and that will help us to be better for the next months.”

After a temporary decline in performance that saw them lose three straight Premier League draws against Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur, City has found its groove again. On December 6, they also lost to Aston Villa, which caused City to tumble to fourth in the standings.

However, they have been frightening since winning the Club World Cup, which has made Guardiola reaffirm his conviction that they are capable of winning the Premier League four times in a row.

“Right now, yeah. How many points are left? 18 or 19 games? We are only five points behind, it is statistically possible,” he said.

“We want to make a legacy and dynasty. Is it realistic? At the moment, it’s far away so I don’t know. We haven’t had time mentally to recover from winning the Treble. I think the Club World Cup gave us an opportunity to find a spark. We’ve won two titles already this season. Right now Liverpool are playing unbelievably, they are back having their best moment in many years.”

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