Manchester City return to Champions League action when they welcome Young Boys to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night, knowing that a fourth straight victory in the competition will all but secure their spot in the knockout rounds. The Blues earned a hard-fought 3-1 win over the Swiss outfit in the reverse fixture two weeks ago.
Pep Guardiola will be eager to advance to the next stage as early as possible but his side does have a tricky trip to Chelsea at the weekend before the final international break of 2023. As a result, the manager is likely to make some changes to his side once again.
One of them could well be a rare rest for Haaland. The scoring sensation picked up a knock in the win over Bournemouth on Saturday and was removed at the break. Haaland has trained on Tuesday ahead of the game but it may be deemed too risky to start him again so soon.
As Guardiola himself said in the pre-match press conference, if he doesn&apost play, Julian Alvarez will start up front instead. “We train this afternoon so I don&apost know,” said Guardiola. “Yesterday he told me he feels much better than on the day of the game but I don&apost know [if he will train].
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“I will listen to the doctors. If he says he is ready and does not have pain I will consider him to play. Because Tuesday to Sunday there&aposs a lot [of time to recover], it is not Wednesday. Right now if Erling can&apost play, Julian [Alvarez] will play there.
“Julian is quite good! I like him arriving as a striker and he can play both so we&aposre really pleased.”
Elsewhere in attack, Phil Foden could come in to replace Haaland and take up Alvarez&aposs attacking midfield role while Jack Grealish may return to the starting XI to rest Bernardo Silva. That would see Jeremy Doku switch to the right flank and it would be interesting to see the make-up of such a forward line.