Pundit Frank McAvennie has played down the importance of Erling Haaland’s potential inclusion in Manchester City’s team ahead of tonight’s Premier League match against Arsenal.
The north London club will take on the champions at the Emirates Stadium for their first league meeting of the campaign.
Arsenal’s opponents were hit with a potential injury concern heading into this game as Haaland was taken off at half-time in City’s previous league outing against Aston Villa with a suspected issue.
With no confirmation as to whether the striker will start against the Gunners this evening, one pundit believes that this may not be an issue for Mikel Arteta’s side.
Speaking to Football Insider, McAvennie had this to say about Haaland heading into tonight’s big game.
He said: “The way Man City has been playing with Haaland has not been very good.
“He is a beast and I would say he is the best striker in the world and he is not getting used. [Kevin] De Bruyne is the only one that passes the ball to him.
“He is not being given a chance. They played really well in the second half without him, so it’s not huge if he starts or not.
“What a statement it is if Man City win the game. Pep has got to play his best team. Whoever wins on Wednesday will win the league. It is a huge ask for Arsenal.”
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With 25 goals scored in 21 league appearances this season, it’s clear that the 22-year-old would be a significant threat for Arsenal’s defence if he ends up being fit enough to be in the starting XI.
However, with De Bruyne having 12 assists to his name in the same number of appearances, it’s the Belgian that Arsenal will have to be wary of, especially when it comes to supplying his striker with goalscoring opportunities.
In terms of how City have fared without the Norwegian in the team, out of the five games he hasn’t featured in across all competitions, the Citizens have won four, drawn one and scored 10 goals in the process, which shows just how deadly they can be without him in the team.
Overall, whether the striker plays or not, Arteta’s side will have to be at the top of their game if they want to secure a win against Pep Guardiola’s outfit.