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regular-article-logo Friday, 12 April 2024

Manchester City’s Erling Haaland likely to miss second consecutive Premier League game

Pep Guardiola hopes his striker can travel with the team to the Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia

Reuters Manchester Published 16.12.23, 07:02 AM
Erling Haaland.

Erling Haaland. File picture

Manchester City’s Erling Haaland is likely to miss his second consecutive Premier League game with a foot injury on Saturday, said manager Pep Guardiola, who hopes his striker can travel with the team to the Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia.

“I don’t think he will play on Saturday,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday ahead of the visit of Crystal Palace. “But maybe surprisingly they tell me something new, but I don’t think so.”

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Haaland missed last Sunday’s 2-1 win over Luton Town with what Guardiola called a stress reaction, and then did not travel to Belgrade for a 3-2 win over Red Star in the Champions League on Wednesday.

A stress reaction, which includes swelling and bruising in the bone, can progress to a more serious stress fracture, although Guardiola said he is not worried about the 23-year-old who has a league-leading 14 goals this term.

“No, it’s no fracture, it is just stress, and sometimes pl­ayers recover quicker, sometimes longer, so the doctor said we have to take it day-by-day, week-by-week, how he feels at the moment, (when he doesn’t) have symptoms or doesn’t feel pain he will be ready to play again,” the manager added.

Any lengthy layoff would be a big blow to City’s hopes of retaining their title. The treble-winners are fourth in the standings on 33 points after 16 games, four adrift of leaders Liverpool.

Guardiola said Haaland had treatment away from Manchester, and returned on Friday. “Hopefully he can travel to Saudi (Saturday) after the game. I think he is going to travel with us.”

Life ban on club chief

Ankara: The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) said on Thursday its disciplinary board had imposed a perma­nent ban on Ankaragucu club president Faruk Koca for punching a referee after a game this week in the country’s top football league.

The TFF board also ruled that Ankaragucu, a club in the top-tier Super Lig in Turkey, would pay a two million lira ($69,000) fine and would play five home games without fans as a result of the unrest involving fans and club officials.

Koca, who resigned as president of MKE Ankaragucu, had punched referee Halil Umut Meler on Monday after the final whistle of a 1-1 draw between Ankaragucu and Caykur Rizespor.

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