Erling Haaland has withdrawn from Norway’s squad for the next internationals owing to a groin injury as Man City title chase face huge blow.
Before domestic football was suspended, the 22-year-old for Manchester City scored eight goals in two games.
And now, Pep Guardiola will worry the worst amid their fight for the Premier League championship.
He will be absent from Norway’s upcoming matches against Spain and Georgia, according to a statement from the Norwegian Football Federation.
The statement read: “Erling Braut Haaland had some pain in his groin after the match against Burnley.”
“We hoped that this was just a familiarity that would carry over to Saturday, but after doing tests and examinations yesterday it became clear that he will not make it to the games against Spain and Georgia.”
“It is better that he receives medical follow-up at the club, says national team doctor Ola Sand.”
“Haaland thus travels home from the national team meeting.”
“Erling took it hard when he realized that he could not fight for the team. Fortunately, there is still plenty of self-confidence, talent and cohesion in this group to win points in the next matches.”
“We are not going to hang on one millimeter, but continue our work to be maximally prepared for Saturday and Tuesday, says national team manager Stale Solbakken.”
With 42 goals across all competitions this season, the prolific 22-year-old has been in outstanding form for Premier League champions City.
He had hoped to extend that form into the beginning of his nation’s qualification for Euro 2024, but as he gets ready to receive treatment for an unlucky physical problem, he will now miss games against Spain and Georgia.
Haaland has scored 21 goals in 23 games for Norway and will still be hoping to lead them to the next European Championship, but his attention is now on getting ready for City to resume their Premier League title defense when they meet Liverpool on April 1.
In the Premier League, Man City is eight points behind league-leaders Arsenal with 11 games remaining.
What Next For Erling Haaland And Manchester City?
They have a game in hand over the Gunners and will face a difficult challenge to keep the title this season.
When the Premier League resumes the following week, Guardiola’s team faces fierce rivals Liverpool.
Haaland must demonstrate his readiness for City’s crucial Premier League match against Liverpool on April 1 in a battle against time.
Pep Guardiola’s winners will need his prolific talisman to perform well if they hope to close the eight-point gap between them and Premier League leaders Arsenal.
The matches are coming thick and fast for City as well, who are still vying for the FA Cup and Champions League, the only awards that have remained elusive to them under Guardiola.
On April 11, City will host Bayern Munich in the first leg of their quarterfinal match. On April 19, City will travel to Germany for the second leg.
Haaland was substituted off against Burnley in the 63rd minute to preserve his fitness while Cole Palmer, who would eventually score the game’s winning goal, entered the fray for the remaining 27 minutes of play.
The £64 million summer acquisition has 42 goals in 37 matches across all competitions for club level, including five hat-tricks for City this season.
Guardiola, the manager of City, hinted that Haaland’s sky-is-the-limit potential in a postgame interview by saying that the 22-year-old hotshot had no goals target for this year.
“I don’t know the number,” he said. “This guy will have a problem in the future because every game, people expect him to score three goals.”
“He is so positive in his life and optimistic and when that happens, always good things are going to happen.”
“He never complains and as much as he plays well, the goals are there.”