Manchester City plays Chelsea in the third round of the EFL Cup on Wednesday evening, but Pep Guardiola may be without Erling Haaland due to injury.
The 22-year-old came off the bench in City’s 2-1 win against Fulham, scoring a last-minute penalty to give his team the win at the Etihad Stadium, but he may not play against the Blues because his foot is still injured.
Guardiola said in Tuesday’s pre-match press conference: “He is still not perfect. We will see tomorrow and Saturday (v Brentford). He is getting better. The main thing is the bone was not broken – the ligament is damaged a little bit, so he’s still not perfect right now.”
Haaland has made 17 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring 23 goals with three assists. The Norwegian international missed two matches due to injury and wasn’t deemed fit enough to start on Saturday, so Guardiola won’t take any risks against Chelsea if he’s not 100%.
It’s hard to see Haaland playing against Chelsea, but it’s not a problem as Julian Alvarez has proven himself more than capable of late, scoring two goals with two assists from his last two appearances.
Whether Haaland will return in time to face Brentford remains to be seen, however. The 22-year-old spent a lot of time injured in Dortmund (14 league games missed in 2021/22, eight league games missed in 2020/21), so Guardiola will hope history isn’t repeating itself.