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Pep Guardiola delivers Erling Braut Haaland fitness update after Aston Villa win

Manchester City swept Aston Villa off 3-1 in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon to close the gap on leaders Arsenal to three points.

But the Cityzens may have paid a high price in the all-important win, with striker Erling Braut Haaland picking up a thigh niggle in the first half.

The Norwegian superstar suffered a nasty collision with Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez midway through the first half, which forced him to stay in the dressing room at half-time.

Pep Guardiola introduced Julian Alvarez at the start of the second half as he feared that keeping Haaland on the pitch may worsen the issue ahead of Man City’s blockbuster trip to Arsenal on Wednesday.

In the aftermath, the Spaniard, who painted his 250th Premier League match in charge of City with flying colours, confirmed the talismanic striker could miss out on the high-stakes midweek fixture.

“He had a big knock and was uncomfortable,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.

“We didn’t want to take a risk and we will assess over the next days.

“Hopefully, he is ready [for the Arsenal game on Wednesday], but we will see.”

Haaland failed to add to his superb 25-goal tally in the Premier League but still chipped in with an assist for Ilkay Gundogan before letting Riyad Mahrez take a penalty late in the first half.

The 22-year-old has been indispensable for Guardiola’s attacking set-up this season, so his potential absence would be a massive blow to Man City’s hopes of coming out on top of the upcoming top-table six-pointer in London.

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