MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 8, 2022: Manchester City's Erling Haaland applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Southampton FC at the Etihad Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Pep Guardiola confirms Erling Haaland is fit after “muscle disturbance” claim

Having previously cast doubt over Erling Haaland’s fitness ahead of Man City‘s trip to Liverpool, Pep Guardiola has now confirmed he is available.

Earlier in the week, ahead of a 0-0 draw with Copenhagen in the Champions League, Guardiola explained that he had left his striker out due to a “muscle disturbance.”

“He is so tired, has some muscle disturbance and we didn’t want to take the risk,” he told Norwegian broadcaster TV2.

On whether Haaland would be fit for Anfield, he said: “We will see after tomorrow, I hope so.”

There was never much doubt that, regardless of Guardiola’s comments, the 22-year-old would be in contention against Liverpool, as City’s main threat in attack with 20 goals in 13 games so far.

And in his pre-match press conference on Friday, the City manager confirmed that, Haaland, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva – who only played 13 minutes in midweek – were fit and ready.

“We have a lot of games to play, like all the teams,” he said.

“We cannot forget Erling, last season, could not play this amount of games in a row. So he was tired, and Bernardo as well and the other ones.

“Of course, they feel good, so they are ready for Sunday.”

Speaking at the AXA Training Centre on Friday, Klopp described Haaland as the “best striker in the world” at present, urging Liverpool to “make sure he doesn’t get that many balls.”

“That is what you have to defend before you come into the challenge with him so that is what we will try,” he told reporters.

“But against City the problem is if you close Haaland down with too many players then you open up gaps for all the other world-class players so that will not make life easier.

“It’s a challenge, a football problem but we try and find solutions.”

City do still have injury problems, with Kyle Walker, John Stones and Kalvin Phillips all ruled out, but they find themselves in a much healthier position than Liverpool.

Luis Diaz, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Naby Keita and Arthur will all miss the clash, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is not expected to be involved despite training this week.