Pep Guardiola has confirmed plans to rotate Erling Haaland out of his line-up as Manchester City’s schedule intensifies.
The Norwegian striker saw out the 90 minutes once again on Sunday, something he often struggled to do at Borussia Dortmund, as he scored in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Newcastle.
Guardiola stated afterwards that fellow new signing Julian Alvarez is lined up to start in attack when Haaland is rested.
“Good food, good rest,” he said when explaining Haaland’s improved fitness. “People say the apartment he’s bought has a good bed. Nothing special.
“What is important is he doesn’t have niggles. Last season he didn’t play 90 minutes because he was injured. The physios and doctors did an incredible job since he arrived to avoid injuries.
“Now he has one game a week. I tell you now when we have games every three days that Erling will not play, I will play Julian.
“One of my favourite players is Bernardo [Silva] and he did not play until today. Riyad [Mahrez] is by far one of my favourite players – especially on the biggest stages – and today he didn’t play. When we start with games every three days, everyone is going to play.”
City came from two goals down to draw at St James’ Park having taken an early lead through Ilkay Gundogan, and Guardiola paid credit to Newcastle’s display in the encounter.
He said: “Why not give credit to the Newcastle team? Brentford beat (Manchester) United 4-0 and everyone talks about how bad are United, and Brentford? They did something good, no?
“When you take these type of players with this quality, it can happen. It’s the beginning of the season and I think it’s really, really good for us to live this kind of experience. We spoke about that at half-time, ‘We need to live this, 2-1 down, we’ll see what happens now, how we are as a team, let’s go’.
“That’s what we have to do, we to live these kind of situations. That’s why the Premier League is so difficult. Everyone is going to drop points and we have dropped the first two, but considering how we behaved from 2-1 down…”