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Haaland has enjoyed a remarkable start to his Premier League career, scoring 17 goals in just 11 appearances. However, he’ll have to wait until next weekend to add to that tally after being left out of City’s squad for their trip to the King Power Stadium.
The striker was withdrawn at half-time during City’s goalless draw with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday, with Guardiola revealing that he had been suffering from a slight fever and a foot complaint.
Speaking to BT Sport ahead of Saturday’s game, Guardiola confirmed that the foot injury Haaland picked up in Germany is the reason for his absence, rather than anything else.
“Yeah [the reason he went off vs Dortmund is why he is missing]. He has recovered from the fever, from the tiredness, but not from the ligament,” Pep said.
Julian Alvarez was named in the starting XI in place of Haaland. Guardiola praised the Argentine during his Friday press conference, saying that if he played as many minutes as Haaland then he too would score plenty of goals.
Before kick-off Guardiola refused to be drawn into directly comparing the two though – perhaps wise given the extraordinarily large boots Haaland has left to fill.
Guardiola said: “Oh yeah, I didn’t think he got it, maybe that’s why he plays today [after scoring at King Power Stadium vs Liverpool]. I’m different from my brother as well. Every player is different, he [Alvarez] has to be himself and that’s all.”
Alvarez has scored four goals in a City shirt, the first coming in the Community Shield defeat to Liverpool at Leicester’s King Power Stadium.
He then scored a brace against Nottingham Forest back in August, but hasn’t scored since finding the net against FC Copenhagen a few weeks ago.