Guardiola shares huge injury blow for Man City in Premier League title race

Erling Haaland of Manchester City reacts during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg match between Manchester City and Real Madrid CF at Etihad Stadium on April 17, 2024 in Manchester, England.

Erling Haaland won't feature for Manchester City against Brighton on Thursday, says Pep Guardiola.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has delivered the bad news to fans over Erling Haaland's nervous injury wait - confirming that the Norwegian striker won't be available to feature against Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday evening after he missed the game against Chelsea at the weekend, which will be music to ears of Liverpool and Arsenal.

Haaland hasn't quite been at the standard he was at last season when he joined City, but an equally superb tally of 31 goals in 39 games has seen the 23-year-old put them into the lead in the title race, alongside the final of the FA Cup. 

But he won't feature against Brighton - and that could be good news for Arsenal and Liverpool, who will both be hoping that City slip up without their star talisman in what will promise to be a tough game at the AMEX Stadium.

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The trio have been neck-and-neck all season. Liverpool have suffered injuries to their front line throughout the campaign, whilst Arsenal will be hoping to continue riding the wave they're on after a 5-0 drubbing of Chelsea at the Emirates. City still have the title in their own hands; but without Haaland, it could be a tricky test on the south coast.

Speaking ahead of the clash against Brighton, Guardiola said:

“Erling is not ready for tomorrow. Phil Foden and John Stones will be ready.”

Haaland remains the top scorer in the Premier League this season alongside Cole Palmer, and whilst 20 isn't quite at the standard the former Borussia Dortmund striker set for himself last season, it's still a superb season that most top-flight strikers dream of achieving even once in their careers.

City will turn to Foden, Alvarez and Bernardo Silva to lead the line on the south coast, hoping to keep up their strong run of form in the league to bring home at least one trophy this season - though they will have the chance to do so in the FA Cup final against Manchester United on May 25th.

It's the first three-horse race for the Premier League title that we have seen since 2015-16; and even then, Leicester took the title home with relative ease.

It's extremely rare that three teams are on a similar amount of points this late into the campaign and with just two points separating the trio - assuming City win their two games in hand, and Liverpool win their game against Everton on Wednesday - it promises to be a bumper final few weeks in the top-flight.

Key Statistic: Manchester City have won seven Premier League titles - beaten only by rivals United, who boast 13 to their name.

City have been here before. Multiple final-day challenges with Liverpool, last season's last-minute overtake against Arsenal, and the famous 2011/12 season where they pipped bitter rivals Manchester United to the post in stoppage time will forever live on in footballing folklore, let alone the city itself.

Arsenal's squad are relatively inexperienced but they do boast the scars of last year, whilst Liverpool have been there and done it against City in the past back in 2019/20. However, with City having an easier run-in on paper, there is every chance Guardiola's side run away and win their sixth title under his supervision.

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