Erling Haaland faces a tight race against time to recuperate for Manchester City‘s showdown with Liverpool following an injury sustained while on international duty with Norway.
The 23-year-old withdrew from his nation’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Scotland, raising worries about his availability for the crucial upcoming match next Saturday.
Haaland, initially benched, was brought on during Norway’s friendly against the Faroe Islands on Thursday.
This decision, considering his recent injury with Bournemouth, has sparked possible frustration within City’s camp, especially with his ankle recurrence during the match.
Norway’s medical team assessed the situation, leading to Haaland’s withdrawal from the Scotland squad. This setback could have significant consequences for Pep Guardiola, potentially sidelining Haaland for the Liverpool clash, a crucial game in the title race.
In a statement released on Saturday morning, Norway confirmed Haaland would be released from the squad and return to his club.
It read: “Erling Braut Haaland, in consultation with the medical officer Ola Sand and national team manager Stale Solbakken, has come to the conclusion that he has to miss the European Championship qualifier against Scotland. Haaland hit his foot during the match against the Faroe Islands on Thursday and is therefore not eligible to play in Glasgow.
Guardiola will be relieved to discover the injury is ‘not serious’, although the pain felt from the injury has forced him to miss the clash. And with only seven days to go until the Premier League encounter with Liverpool, he may need a late fitness test to prove he is able to start.
“The injury is not serious, but he is in so much pain and somewhat restricted function that the Scotland game unfortunately comes a little too early,” Norway’s team doctor Ola Sand said.
Haaland has scored 13 goals in 12 Premier League matches this season and scored a brace in the 4-4 draw with Chelsea underlining his crucial value to the team as they look to make it four Premier League titles won in a row.
City did manage to beat Liverpool without him last season, recording a 4-1 success at the Etihad while Haaland sat out with a groin injury. But this new concern may leave Guardiola short of options up front, with Julian Alvarez his only other recognised striker.
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