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Manchester City receive huge fitness boost for final five Premier League matches and title battle with Arsenal and Liverpool



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Pep Guardiola and his wider coaching staff have been boosted by the eagerly-awaited return of Erling Haaland to full first-team training on Friday.

The Norwegian striker has been absent from Manchester City’s last two competitive fixtures, having been ruled out for the FA Cup semi-final clash against Chelsea and the Premier League meeting with Brighton this week.

Speaking prior to the meeting with Roberto De Zerbi’s side, Guardiola commented on the fitness of his number nine, “He’s injured. I don’t think it’s much but he’s not able for today (vs Brighton). I don’t know (if he will be back for the next game against Nottingham Forest).”

But now both Guardiola and Manchester City supporters have been greeted by a very welcome update on the 23-year-old, as the club face the final five fixtures of their Premier League title battle with Arsenal and Liverpool.

As captured by City’s club photographers, Erling Haaland featured in first-team training at the City Football Academy on Friday, as the wider group took part in a recovery session following their outing on the south coast the night before.

Manchester City are likely to have come out of their 0-4 rout over Brighton unscathed, however supporters will remain in the dark over the squad’s fitness in the run-up to the meeting with Nottingham Forest due to the lack of a live pre-match press conference.

Due to the tight turnaround between City’s trip to the south coast and the City Ground, Guardiola conducted his pre-match media duties at the Amex Stadium, with content held back until Friday afternoon.

Following the Premier League champions’ five matches in the top-flight this season, Pep Guardiola and his players will round off their campaign with a showpiece FA Cup final against Manchester United for the second successive season.