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FootballBrighton v Manchester City: Haaland to miss Seagulls clash

Brighton v Manchester City: Haaland to miss Seagulls clash

Manchester City will be without leading-scorer Erling Haaland for tomorrow night’s trip to Brighton.

The Norway striker missed Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final win over Chelsea and will again be absent when City visit the Amex Stadium.

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There was some good news for boss Pep Guardiola, however, with England duo John Stones and Phil Foden passed fit.

Guardiola said: “Erling Haaland is not ready for tomorrow – the other two they are ready.

“[It’s] not a big issue [for Haaland] but not allowed for this game.”

Arsenal’s 5-0 thrashing of Chelsea last night saw Mikel Arteta’s men establish a four-point advantage over City, although the defending Premier League champions do have two games in hand.

Second-placed Liverpool, who are a point ahead of City having played one game more, take on Everton in the Merseyside derby tonight.

It poises to be a fascinating end to the season and Guardiola is demanding no dip in concentration from his side.

“We have had a lot of problems with important players with injuries, but we are still there,” he said.

“We are in the final of the FA Cup, we made the latter stages of the Champions League and in the Premier League we are there.

“But you can arrive to the end like this and in one week lose all titles, but the team have behaved unbelievable this season again.

“Every game is important now as every mistake and setback is difficult. But we have been here many times so we know what we are playing for.”

A trip to Brighton is fraught with peril, according to Guardiola, despite the Seagulls’ poor recent form.

“They have had a lot of problems, important players were sold,” he said.

“They have a lot of injuries and are playing in more competitions, but the way they play always they are there. He [coach Roberto De Zerbi] is doing an incredible job in Brighton.”

Refereeing standards have hit the headlines once again in recent days following Nottingham Forest’s unhappiness at the performance of Anthony Taylor and VAR Stuart Attwell in their 2-0 defeat at Everton on Sunday but Guardiola says it is wrong to question the integrity of officials.

“Absolutely disagree,” he said. “There are always [issues] in every league, this will happen more and more but of course I never had doubts about that.

“The referees want to do the job as best as possible. They feel the pressure, we put pressure on them for the passion of the game, for the moment, but when I sit here and reflect, they try to do their best and are under scrutiny with the cameras there.

“They make a mistake, they feel bad. It’s normal. When they do the job, they want to do it well. The game is so difficult, it is fast and quick, decisions have to be made in one instant. It’s not easy.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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