Guardiola cautious with Haaland: ‘Need again on Saturday’
Manchester City will play their final group game in the Champions League at home on Wednesday night. Pep Guardiola’s team can already not escape first place in Group G. The coach is not yet calling on Erling Haaland against the Spaniards.
The Norwegian started the season stormily, including seventeen goals in eleven Premier League games. In the Champions League, Haaland was five hits in the first three games. In the previous round of play, however, he was invisible on a visit to his former club Borussia Dortmund and remained in the dressing room midway through the game. However, that was mainly because he had suffered from foot pain and was also suffering from flu, Guardiola explained at the time.
Ahead of tomorrow’s game, Guardiola indicated that he does not want to take any risks with his star player. “He is feeling better than Saturday and Sunday,” the coach told the press conference, “but he is not 100 per cent yet. We don’t want to take a risk with him, that wouldn’t make sense.” With that, the coach also looks ahead to the next round of Premier League play: “Hopefully we will have him back on Saturday against Fulham.”
Too early for Phillips
The game with Sevilla also comes too soon for Kalvin Phillips. The midfielder is in a race against time to get fit for the World Cup in Qatar. “He is partially training with the team again,” Guardiola said of the player he acquired from Leeds United last summer. “But contact is still out of the question.” The coach realises his player does not have much time left to get minutes. “We know how important the World Cup is, but we simply cannot use players who are not ready.”