Manchester City star Erling Haaland was forced off the field at half-time after sustaining an apparent thigh injury during his side’s 3-1 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday 12 February.
The Norwegian forward has enjoyed a sensational debut campaign in England and currently leads the goalscoring charts with a staggering 25 goals in his opening 22 Premier League games. Haaland has played a pivotal role in Manchester City’s season so far and he has already surpassed last season’s top scorers Mohamed Salah and Son Heung Min, who both bagged 23 goals last term.
Despite Haaland’s impressive form, the Citizens still find themselves in second place and behind the early pace setters Arsenal. Pep Guardiola’s side have the opportunity to leapfrog the league leaders in their next game when they come head to head with the Gunners.
The upcoming clash is of huge importance to both Arsenal and Manchester City, with the winner gaining huge momentum in the title race. Haaland has been a key focal point for Manchester City’s attack this season - but is he likely to feature in the title-decider against Arsenal?
Is Erling Haaland available for the game against Arsenal?
Manchester City are assessing the fitness of Erling Haaland after his injury against Aston Villa.
City boss Pep Guardiola explained the decision to sub off Haaland, he said: “Erling has a knock; he was uncomfortable. At half-time I spoke with the doctors, They said maybe with the score like it is we don’t take risks, and I agreed.”
Guardiola added: “If the score was tighter, then maybe I don’t do it. I think he is not injured but on Monday we are going to see. Hopefully he can be in for Wednesday. But if he is not ready or there is some risk, he is not going to play.”
Manchester City have the opportunity to move into top spot with a victory against Arsenal.The Citizens are three points behind The Gunners but they enter the game with a superior goal difference.
A victory for Arsenal would give them a six point advantage at the top of the table, while the North London side also have a game in hand on defending champions Manchester City.
Who could replace Erling Haaland?
Haaland has been the standout performer in Manchester City’s team and his potential absence would come as a huge blow ahead of the big game. However, Manchester City are a team blessed with an array of attacking options and they have a great deal of depth at their disposal to cover for any injuries.
Manchester City are likely to turn to Julian Alvarez as a replacement for Haaland if he misses out. The Argentinian international replaced Haaland at half-time during the victory against Aston Villa and is viewed as a top prospect by fans of the club.
The 23-year-old played a defining role in Argentina’s World Cup campaign in Qatar - scoring four goals in seven games and helping his country to their first World Cup title since 1986.
He is yet to find his best form in the Premier League with just four goals from his opening 17 games, however many of his appearances have come from the substitutes bench and he has also been utilised in a wide area to provide support to Haaland.
Manchester City have also opted to play without a recognised striker in the past and the likes of Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva have also featured in the central role in spells last season.
When is Arsenal vs Manchester City?
Arsenal take on Manchester City on Wednesday 15 February at the Emirates Stadium.
It is the first meeting between the two sides in the Premier League. The two sides last met in the FA Cup in January with Manchester City running out 1-0 winners.
How to watch Arsenal vs Manchester City?
Build up to the game begins at 6.30pm and the game itself kicks off an hour later at 7.30pm.
You can also stream the game on the Amazon Prime Video app which is available for you to download on your mobile phone or tablet device.