Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola hopeful Erling Haaland will be fit for Club World Cup

Premier League champions to face Urawa Red Diamonds in semi-final

Pep Guardiola does not expect Erling Haaland to be fit for Manchester City's Premier League match against Crystal Palace on Saturday and admitted the Norway striker is a doubt for next week's Club World Cup fixtures. PA
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Pep Guardiola says Erling Haaland is likely to miss Manchester City’s Premier League match against Crystal Palace on Saturday – but hopes the striker will prove his fitness in time for the Club World Cup.

City’s leading goalscorer missed last weekend’s victory at Luton and the midweek win at Red Star Belgrade with a foot injury, and has been receiving treatment in Spain.

Haaland returned to the club on Friday morning and Guardiola said further tests were required before pinpointing a return to action.

City are set to travel to Saudi Arabia after Saturday’s match for the Club World Cup, with a semi-final against Urawa Red Diamonds on Tuesday in Jeddah. Either the final or the third-place play-off will follow on Friday.

“Haaland arrived today and the doctors will see him and we will see how he feels,” Guardiola said.

“He had treatment away. Hopefully he can travel to Saudi and we will see if he is able to play in the first game or the second game, or when we come back. I don’t think he will play [against Palace] but maybe he surprises me.

“It is not a fracture, just stress. Sometimes players recover quickly, some longer. Day by day, week by week, we see how he feels. The moment he doesn’t have pain he will play.”

Meanwhile, Substitute Alex Schalk scored a 78th-minute winner as Urawa Red Diamonds beat Club Leon 1-0 on Friday to reach the semi-final of the Club World Cup, where they will take on City.

Jose Kante fed Schalk, who had only been on the pitch a few minutes, and he shot past the onrushing keeper Rodolfo Cota to make the crucial breakthrough for the Asian Champions.

Leon's chances of a comeback were all but ended when skipper William Tesillo was shown a second yellow card.

Club Leon v Urawa Red Diamonds - in pictures

Updated: December 15, 2023, 7:49 PM