Man City v Sevilla: Match in pictures
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will be weighing up whether to phase Erling Haaland back into the starting XI against Fulham after a brief spell on the sidelines. Three other injury concerns could make life difficult against the high-flying Cottagers as Express Sport takes you through the latest injury news from the Etihad…
The Norwegian was taken off at the interval when City travelled to his former club, Borussia Dortmund, last week. Guardiola opted to keep him out as a precaution in the win over Leicester four days later and he watched on from the stands during the 3-1 Champions League dead-rubber victory against Sevilla on Wednesday.
Haaland’s foot injury does not appear to be a serious one but the Sky Blues are in no mood to take risks with the Premier League’s most fearsome striker. Now almost one third of the way through the season, the 22-year-old’s strike rate still stands at a ridiculous one goal every 54 minutes and the City boss recently claimed that he would ‘hopefully’ return to face Fulham.
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Not much was made of Akanji’s switch from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, but he has taken life at the Etihad in his stride. Despite battling with the likes of Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nathan Ake at centre-back, the Swiss international has already racked up 10 appearances.
Little has been said of the knock he picked up against Leicester at the weekend and he was absent from City’s open training session this week. As such, Guardiola is likely to call upon one of the other options at his disposal on Saturday.
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The flying full-back’s fitness status is being closely followed not just by City fans, but England supporters too. Reece James’ injury has put his World Cup spot in jeopardy, meaning Gareth Southgate could call on Walker to provide defensive solidity on the right-hand side if he recovers in time.
The 32-year-old is still one of City’s most dependable players when fit, but he underwent surgery on a groin issue at the start of October that has forced Joao Cancelo to switch flanks. Not much is expected to change between now and Saturday, with Walker’s return date still unknown.
Much like Walker, City and England fans have common ground in willing the former Leeds United star to return to fitness. Rodri is the undisputed top dog at the base of Guardiola’s midfield but a fit and firing Phillips would likely have got minutes during October’s busy fixture schedule.
The 26-year-old, who is a favourite of Southgate’s and featured prominently during last year’s run to the Euro 2020 final, has spent months on the sidelines with a shoulder issue and the Fulham game will come too soon for him to make a comeback.
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