Soccer-Man City's Haaland to miss Brighton game but Guardiola says injury not serious

  • Football
  • Wednesday, 24 Apr 2024

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Quarter Final - Second Leg - Manchester City v Real Madrid - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - April 17, 2024 Manchester City's Erling Braut Haaland looks dejected after Real Madrid's Rodrygo scores their first goal REUTERS/Carl Recine/File Photo

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Manchester City will be without top scorer Erling Haaland when they play at Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday, manager Pep Guardiola said, as his team continues their push toward capturing a fourth consecutive Premier League title.

"Erling Haaland is not ready for tomorrow, (it's) not a big issue but not allowed for this game," Guardiola told reporters on Wednesday.

The forward, who is joint top of the league's scoring charts this season with Chelsea's Cole Palmer on 20 goals each, also missed Saturday's FA Cup semi-final win over the Blues due to a muscle injury sustained during the Champions League quarter-final loss to Real Madrid three days earlier.

City will have Phil Foden and John Stones back on Thursday, when they can climb to within a point of leaders Arsenal but still with a game in hand. Arsenal have played 34 games, while Guardiola's men have played 32. Brighton are 10th in the table.

While City's chance to repeat as treble winners disappeared with their loss to Madrid last week, they are still in the running to lift another double after clinching an FA Cup final berth against Manchester United in a repeat of last season.

"We have had a lot of problems with important players with injuries, but we are still there," Guardiola said. "We are in the final of the FA Cup, we made the latter stages of the Champions League and in the Premier League we are there.

"But you can arrive to the end like this and in one week (can) lose all titles. Every game is important now as every mistake and setback is difficult. But we have been here many times so we know what we are playing for."

Guardiola was asked whether he agreed with Nottingham Forest's criticism of league officiating. Forest posted a strongly worded statement on social media platform X accusing Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Stuart Attwell of being a Luton Town fan after their 2-0 loss to Everton on Sunday.

"Absolutely disagree," he said. "In every league in the world, this kind of thing will happen more and more, but of course I never had doubts about that.

"They make a mistake, they feel bad. It's normal. When they do the job, they want to do it well. The game is so difficult, it is fast and quick, decisions have to be made in one instant. It's not easy," he added.

(Reporting by Lori Ewing; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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