Erling Haaland to undergo fitness test ahead of Man City's match with Arsenal

Erling Haaland to undergo fitness test ahead of Man City's match with Arsenal

Erling Haaland expected to undergo a fitness test ahead of Man City's big game against Arsenal on Wednesday at Emirates Stadium.

The prolific Norway striker, who has scored 31 goals in all competitions for the champions this season, was withdrawn at half-time during Sunday's 3-1 win over Aston Villa.

With City 3-0 ahead at the time, there seemed little need to risk the 22-year-old in the second period at the Etihad Stadium but manager Pep Guardiola later revealed he had taken a knock.

Guardiola said: "Erling has a kick and we will assess in the next days what he can do.

"At half-time I spoke with the doctors. They said at 3-0, 'maybe don't take risks' and I agreed.

"I think he is not injured but tomorrow we will see. Hopefully he can be in for Wednesday but if he is not ready, or there is some risk, he is not going to play."

City will now head to the Emirates Stadium trailing Arsenal by just three points and with a chance to move top should they beat the Gunners.

Their display, particularly in a first half which produced goals for Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and - from the penalty spot - Riyad Mahrez, was one of their best of the season.

It was their first outing since the club were hit with 115 charges for alleged breaches of the Premier League's Financial Fair Play regulations.

With the fans producing a raucous atmosphere and the players appearing to thrive off that, the response was just what Guardiola had called for in his passionate defence of the club's position on Friday.

Guardiola said: "Unfortunately we conceded a goal, a mistake, and we have to protect better in any circumstances.

"But, in general, it was a really good game. I'm happy with that. The team above us dropped points and that is why it was important, finally, to take this opportunity to reduce the gap with Arsenal."

Referring to the events of the past few days, Guardiola said: "It's happened this week and next week it will be forgotten. Everyone is going to do their job at the club.

"Our job was to prepare for and win the games on the pitch and today was a good example of that. Seeing and feeling our people there is nice."

Guardiola did not seem happy about the on-field discussions which led to Mahrez taking the penalty rather than first-choice taker Haaland.

He said: "Normally Erling is the first taker, I wanted that, but Riyad always tries to do it.

"Rodri was involved and I don't know what happened. Tomorrow I will speak with them."

Guardiola added that defender Ruben Dias was replaced at half-time because he was on a yellow card and not due to injury.

Villa manager Unai Emery admitted his side were outplayed and lessons needed to be learned.

The Spaniard said: "The first half was the worst performance we've had in the matches we've played.

"In the second half we tried to forget the result and continue in our work, trying to improve and be competitive and like were in the last matches we played. We played better and scored a goal.

"But they deserved to win and we have to take a lot of information from the match and use it."