Haaland a doubt as Man City seek to wrap up last 16 spot

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Holders Manchester City will qualify for the Champions League knockout rounds with two games to spare with victory over Young Boys on Tuesday but they may have to do it without Erling Haaland.

The Norwegian goal machine twisted his ankle during the 6-1 hammering of Bournemouth in the Premier League and is a doubt for the clash with the Swiss club in Group G.

A draw would also likely be enough for City to guarantee a top-two spot but Guardiola is unlikely to tinker too much with his team until top spot is also guaranteed.

He could opt to spare Haaland though, especially with a trip to Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.

“He trains this afternoon so I don’t know. We’ll speak with the doctors,” Guardiola told reporters. “Yesterday he told me he feels much better, but I don’t know.

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“I will listen to him, if he says I am ready and I don’t have pain I will consider to let him play. Tuesday to Sunday, there are a lot of games to come.

“Right now, if Erling isn’t ready, Julian (Alvarez) will play there.”

Should City avoid a slip-up against Young Boys, who they beat 3-1 away last month, it will mean Guardiola has gone 17 matches unbeaten in the Champions League, breaking his streak at Barcelona between 2011 and 2012.

Only Manchester United have ever had a longer run without defeat among English teams in European Cup/Champions League history when they went 25 unbeaten in from 2007 to 2009.

Asked about his side’s consistency, he said: “Incredible. Tomorrow we will try to finish and qualify for February and the next stage. We will try to finish first.

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“That definitively is better.”

City have a maximum nine points with their only serious rivals in the group being RB Leipzig on six. Leipzig play Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.

-Reuters

 

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