Erling Haaland did not play for Manchester City in their Champions League draw with Copenhagen on Tuesday, while Pep Guardiola spoke modestly about the fitness of his striker and two other key players ahead of Sunday’s clash with Liverpool.
After their number was reduced to 10 in the first half due to the removal of Sergio Gomez, City could not get around the former Liverpool goalkeeper Kamil Grabar.
Holand, who scored a whopping 20 goals in his first 13 appearances for City, was named to the bench but did not take the field despite his team’s unsuccessful attempts to make a breakthrough.
Since Guardiola’s team was already on the verge of reaching the playoffs, the Spaniard did not want to take risks with players who had quibbles.
The City boss claims Haaland didn’t feel 100% after the win over Southampton on Saturday.
“He finished the game against Southampton so, so tired and has not recovered well in these two or three days,” Guardiola said at the post—match press conference.
“Yesterday was not very good, a little better, but not perfect, so we decided not to take any chances.”
Haaland is not the only player Guardiola has expressed doubts about, saying that Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva also feared injuries before the match in Copenhagen.
Both came off the bench in the second half and should be expected to start the game at Anfield on Sunday.
“A lot of players didn’t start today because they were exhausted, tired and tired, and they had some quibbles,” he continued.
“Erling didn’t feel very well after the game with Southampton, Phil had problems, Bernardo told us yesterday that he was very tired.”
Asked if Holand would be able to play against Liverpool, Guardiola told TV2:
“We have to see tomorrow, I hope he will be ready.”
I’ve heard it before!
After the victory over Southampton, Guardiola called the meeting with Liverpool at Anfield “the biggest test we can face in England”, despite the recent struggle of the Reds for form.
Don’t be fooled, any potential injury problems will miraculously disappear by the time City arrive on Merseyside this weekend!
Expect more mind games at his pre-match press conference this week.