Published On: Sat, Nov 18th, 2023
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Erling Haaland injury leaves Man City sweating before Liverpool clash after Norway update | Football | Sport

Erling Haaland is facing a race against time to recover for Manchester City’s clash with Liverpool after the striker was injured on international duty with Norway. The 23-year-old has pulled out of the squad for his nation’s Euro 2024 qualifier with Scotland on Sunday, sparking fears that he may not be fit to take part in the crucial encounter next Saturday.

The striker was brought on for the second half of Norway’s friendly with the Faroe Islands on Thursday after starting on the bench. And City may be fuming about the decision to risk Haaland in a friendly just days after he limped off against Bournemouth.

The striker suffered a recurrence of the ankle injury that forced him to sit out the second half of City’s 6-1 thrashing at the beginning of November when he stretched for a ball and caught his studs in the turf.

After being assessed by Norway’s medical team, it was decided that he would pull out of the squad to face Scotland. And his latest knock to his ankle could have huge repercussions for Pep Guardiola, who faces the possibility of losing Haaland for their clash with title contenders Liverpool.

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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