'I spoke with him - Man City offer encouraging Erling Haaland fitness update vs Nottingham Forest

Erling Haaland of Manchester City is challenged by Moussa Niakhate of Nottingham Forest
Erling Haaland of Manchester City is challenged by Moussa Niakhate of Nottingham Forest -Credit:Man City

Erling Haaland is feeling positive about the injury issue that has kept him out of Manchester City's recent fixtures.

City showed no sign of the tiredness of the previous week as they raced out of the blocks at Brighton. Kevin De Bruyne's wonderful diving header sent them on their way, followed by a Phil Foden brace before the halfway point - both coming in fortuitous circumstances, but Foden won't care as he picked up his 50th and 51st Premier League goals.

Julian Alvarez added another goal to the collection in a comfortable second half, as City eased off in the end ahead of Sunday's trip to Nottingham Forest at the weekend. It was just Alvarez's second goal in 17 games for City, but this was generally a more positive performance from the Argentine in Haaland's absence.

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After the game, Guardiola was informed that City's record of goals scored, conceded and points won per game was actually better in the 14 games where Haaland has been absent compared to when he has played, but the manager was clear that Haaland would start when he is back - which could be soon.

"I prefer to have Erling at my disposal than to have it. I spoke with him, he says he feels better, I don't know," said the manager.

In Haaland's absence, City moved Alvarez wider to allow Foden and De Bruyne space to exploit to great effect, with Guardiola explaining the tactic post-game.

"Phil can play in more positions than Kevin," he said. "The way they defend, we decide to play that way without wingers, more fullbacks. They did really well. We found them with the process for Bernardo. They did exceptional and that provoked the spaces for them."

With a comfortable lead, Guardiola was able to take off key men like Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Rodri, Bernardo Silva and Kyle Walker ahead of the trip to Nottingham Forest on Sunday, and he spoke to Sky Sports of the importance of resting well ahead of the next game.

"After we have the next two games against Wolves and Fulham we have long weeks," he noted. "But this will be a tricky one because Nottingham are so fast and we have to prepare well."