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Erling Haaland one of three Manchester City stars banned from featuring in FIFA Club World Cup Final due to shock rule

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Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will be without a trio of key players for the FIFA Club World Cup Final due to competition rules.

Manchester City will play Fluminense in the FIFA Club World Cup Final on Friday, after beating Japanese outfit Urawa Red Diamonds at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in the semi-finals on Tuesday evening.

The treble-winners will have the chance to win their fifth trophy of the calendar year, having already won the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League and Super Cup in 2023.

Manchester City reached their first Club World Cup Final with a 3-0 win in Jeddah, after an own-goal by Marius Høibråten and second-half goals from Mateo Kovacic and Bernardo Silva.

The Sky Blues doubled their lead after Kovacic’s first goal for the club in the 52nd minute, before Silva secured the victory with a deflected strike moments later.

The pair started for Manchester City amid the absence of trio of Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland and Jeremy Doku, as Guardiola chose against starting a recognised striker.

De Bruyne returned to first-team training on Monday, as the 32-year-old recovers from surgery for a ruptured hamstring sustained on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

Attacking duo Erling Haaland and Jeremy Doku were also absent from the 23-man matchday squad for the semi-final, with the pair having missed Manchester City’s recent matches in the Premier League and Champions League.

Haaland hasn’t featured since a loss to Aston Villa, meanwhile Doku has been sidelined since a 3-3 draw with Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City return to Premier League action on Wednesday 27th December against Everton, and due to FIFA competition rules, next week’s game will be Haaland and Doku’s next opportunity for minutes.

Sky Sports report that “FIFA Club World Cup rules state that the 23 players selected in the semi-final are the only players allowed to feature in the final,” ruling the attacking trio out of Friday’s Final.

De Bruyne, Haaland and Doku were all absent from the semi-final matchday squad and as a result will be ineligible to play against Fluminense.

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