Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola confirmed on Tuesday that star player Erling Haaland is not fit to face Sevilla but could return for Premier League clash with Fulham on Saturday.

Haaland missed the 1-0 victory over Leicester City last weekend because he was taken off at halftime of the goalless draw with Borussia Dortmund during the previous week.

With three wins and two draws from the first five games, the Blues have already secured first place in Group G of the UEFA Champions League this season.

They face the team they defeated 4-0 in Spain in September in the group’s sixth and final game on Wednesday.

In his pre-game press conference on Tuesday, Guardiola said he is hopeful for a quick return for the Norwegian striker.

“Tomorrow he is not available. He feels better compared to Saturday and Sunday but he is not 100 per cent and we don’t want to take a risk, it makes no sense. Hopefully he will be back for Fulham. Every day he is feeling better.”

Kalvin Phillips’ shoulder injury means he is also unavailable for the Champions League encounter. The England midfielder has not featured for City since 14 September.

The coach gave an update on his continuing recovery ahead of the 2022 World Cup, starting later this month.

“He is doing partial sessions with the team. Contact not yet but we will see his evolution. We know how important the World Cup is but we can’t use a player who is not ready.

“My feeling now is it will be tight (to make the World Cup). There are many things involved. I don’t think (he will play) against Fulham and even Brentford – it will be similar games to Leicester. We need players in the best condition,” said Guardiola.

The Next Cancelo?

You just know it’s all part of the bigger plan when a team as well-run as Manchester City allows a player with Oleksandr Zinchenko’s skills to leave the team. Replacements will be found or already exist.

They were aware that the squad’s gap could be filled through other means, such as their incredibly talented academy system.

Rico Lewis, a 17-year-old England youth international, entered Pep Guardiola’s plans as a result, and the early indications are positive that he will stay there for a significant amount of time.

They knew that gap in the squad could be filled by pursuing other avenues, including their uber-talented academy system.

That has led to Rico Lewis, their 17-year-old England youth international, making his way into Pep Guardiola’s plans, and the early signs are good that he will remain there for a good while longer.