Will Erling Haaland play against Arsenal? Fears over Man City star's fitness addressed by Pep Guardiola

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 Erling Haaland Manchester City 2022-23
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was tight-lipped about the fitness of Erling Haaland ahead of their crunch match against Arsenal on Wednesday.

WHAT HAPPENED? The pair meet in a huge top of the table clash which will see City leapfrog their north London counterparts with a win. Vital to their chances of victory will be the return to fitness of their star striker, which looks in doubt after the Norwegian was forced off at half time in Sunday's 3-1 win over Aston Villa. Guardiola, for his part, refused to be drawn on a definitive return date, and is instead taking sessions as they come.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking in a press conference ahead of the Arsenal game, the Man City boss said: “We train this afternoon. Right now I don’t know. Yesterday was about recovery from Aston Villa. That’s all.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite being without a goal in his last three games, the importance of Haaland to Guardiola's side cannot be discounted, demonstrated in his sheer pace and strength to set up Ilkay Gundogan's goal at the weekend. The forward's injury woes add more off-field noise to City's preparations, made up primarily from the ongoing financial investigations against the club and the controversial remarks by Guardiola which the Spaniard has since had to come out and apologise for.

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Erling Haaland Emi Martinez Manchester City Aston Villa 2022-23

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Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2022-23

WHAT NEXT FOR HAALAND? With Guardiola refusing to offer any form of concrete update, it will likely be on the day itself when more is known about the Norwegian's availability.