Haaland ruled out of Manchester City's crucial trip to Brighton

AFP , Wednesday 24 Apr 2024

Manchester City's Premier League title bid has suffered a blow after Norway striker Erling Haaland was ruled out of Thursday's crucial clash at Brighton.

Real Madrid s Spanish defender #06 Nacho Fernandez (L) clears the ball from Manchester City s Norwegian striker #09 Erling Haaland during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second-leg football match between Manchester City and Real Madrid, at the Etihad Stadium, in Manchester, north-west England. AFP

Haaland missed City's 1-0 win over Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday due to a muscle injury sustained in the Champions League quarter-final exit against Real Madrid last week.

City's leading scorer, who has 20 Premier League goals this season, is yet to recover and will not make the trip to the Amex Stadium as the champions look to close the gap on leaders Arsenal.

City boss Pep Guardiola insisted Haaland's injury was not serious and he could come back into contention in time for Sunday's game against Nottingham Forest.

While Haaland is sidelined, Guardiola was boosted by England internationals Phil Foden and John Stones getting the green light to face Brighton after their own fitness concerns.

"Erling is not ready for tomorrow, the other two, they are ready," Guardiola told reporters on Wednesday.

"I know it is not a big issue, but he is not allowed for this game."

As a gripping title race approaches the final furlong, third placed City are four points behind leaders Arsenal, who thrashed Chelsea 5-0 on Tuesday.

Guardiola's men have two games in hand on Arsenal and have played one match less than second placed Liverpool, who face Merseyside rivals Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday.

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