Latest Erling Haaland injury update ahead of Chelsea FA Cup semi-final

Latest Erling Haaland injury update ahead of Chelsea FA Cup semi-final

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has shared an update on Erling Haaland’s fitness ahead of the upcoming FA Cup semi-final clash with Chelsea. The prolific Norwegian striker was substituted during Man City’s Champions League exit to Real Madrid on Wednesday.

The forward was unexpectedly replaced before the start of extra time during Man City’s Champions League quarter-final defeat to Real Madrid, which was ultimately decided on penalties. Despite Haaland coming in for mild criticism in recent weeks, taking off a striker who has scored 31 goals in 39 games is not a decision that Pep Guardiola would have made lightly.

Man City boss Guardiola disclosed post-match that Haaland had requested to come off, though he refrained from specifying the cause at that time. On Friday, Guardiola provided a further update, confirming Haaland had sustained an injury but remained vague about its severity ahead of facing Chelsea at Wembley.

At his pre-match press conference on Friday, Guardiola said: “We will see. It was a tough game, a lot of action, high intensity for both sides. Erling felt something, a muscular issue. That’s why he told me he could not continue. The (doctor) said he had a little bit of niggles, a little problem, we will see how his evolution is in the next hours.”

Man City talisman Kevin De Bruyne was also taken off against Real Madrid but was suffering from fatigue, rather than an injury. With Guardiola acknowledging the toll that the season is taking on his squad, Chelsea will hope to add to Man City’s woes by denying the club a place in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Speaking about the effects of tiredness within his squad, Guardiola explained: “It’s normal with the amount of games we are playing this season and the previous seasons and not much recovery, and extra time and high intensity.

“We put a lot of pressure in our game and that’s why the fatigue is there. They are human beings. They are not a machine. We are used to it.”

Chelsea will look to use Man City’s schedule to their advantage, as well as hoping Guardiola’s side are still reeling from their dramatic Champions League exit in midweek. In what has been another frustrating season for the Blues, winning the FA Cup would represent a vital piece of silverware for Mauricio Pochettino’s side and a route back into European football.

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