Pep Guardiola explains surprise Erling Haaland selection after injury concern
The Norwegian started against Young Boys on Tuesday.
The striker was taken off at half-time during City’s 6-1 thrashing of Bournemouth on Saturday after a knock to his ankle.
The 23-year-old returned to training at the start of the week, but it was expected that he would be rested for the Champions League clash at the Etihad.
However, Guardiola unleashed his most potent weapon from the start on the Swiss side, hoping to confirm qualification for the knockout stage at the earliest possible opportunity.
Asked by TNT Sports if he considered resting Haaland, Guardiola said: ‘Yeah before the training session yesterday yeah, but we saw him training, how good he moved and yeah, he starts and we’ll see after.’
He added: ‘Important is to qualify and obviously as early as possible, but to qualify is the most important thing. We have three chances, tonight is the first one.’
Manuel Akanji was due to start the match but was replaced in the starting XI by Kyle Walker shortly before kick-off with Manchester City confirming it was due to illness.
The expectation for Haaland to be rested was partly down to City winning their first three Champions League games and sitting comfortably at the top of their group, while also facing a tricky Premier League trip to Chelsea on Sunday.
However, the likes of Julian Alvarez, Jeremy Doku, Rodri and Bernardo Silva were left on the bench against Young Boys instead.
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