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Erling Haaland set for period of absence as Pep Guardiola earmarks injury return date



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Pep Guardiola has earmarked a potential return date for Erling Haaland, after the Manchester City striker missed Sunday’s win over Luton Town.

Manchester City bounced back from four successive matches without a win at Kenilworth Road, coming from behind to beat Luton Town and move to within four points of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.

Second-half goals from Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish secured a vital three points for Pep Guardiola’s side, after Elijah Adebayo headed the home side ahead on the brink of half-time.

Manchester City’s victory was their first since early November, and came despite the absence of both Jeremy Doku and Erling Haaland, who have scored a combined 22 goals so far this season.

Doku remains sidelined after suffering an injury against Tottenham, although Haaland’s absence came as a surprise, after the 23-year-old featured for the full 90 minutes against Aston Villa in midweek.

The Norwegian missed a Premier League match for the first time this season on Sunday, and could miss next weekend’s clash against Crystal Palace as well as Wednesday’s meeting with Red Star Belgrade.

Haaland has suffered a foot injury which could force the player to be absent until the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia, according Guardiola.

“The day after Villa, he could almost not walk properly,” revealed the Manchester City boss.

“Yesterday I spoke to him, [he was] saying, ‘I feel much better, I can walk, I have no pain’. That’s why we have to see how he is day by day.”

Guardiola was quick to clarify that the forward had not suffered a stress fracture, and that he hopes that the 23-year-old can return for Manchester City’s clash against either Urawa Reds or Club Leon on Tuesday 19th December.

Haaland, who has scored 19 goals in 22 matches so far this season, had only previously missed Manchester City’s defeat to Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup, prior to this weekend.