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SPORTS UPDATE

Erling Haaland set to return against Finland Sunday

Norway international Erling Haaland was pictured on a night out with friends ahead of tonight’s friendly against Ireland.

The Manchester City star was left out of Norway’s squad to play in Dublin, after struggling with a foot injury in recent weeks, but is sure to be back in action by Sunday.

The 22-year-old was pictured with three friends, including Alessandro Pera, a celebrity PR who posted the image on Instragram with the caption ‘reunion’ – which Haaland then shared.

Haaland appears to be close friends with Pera, who also posted an image with the Norwegian striker and singer Robbie Williams three weeks ago.

In recent weeks, the striker missed games against Leicester and Sevilla due to his foot injury – though he has since featured in matches with both Fulham and Brentford.

Norway manager Stale Solbakken has explained that Haaland will miss the game against Republic of Ireland after a decision was made in collaboration with Manchester City.

READ ALSO EPL: Haaland not fully recovered from injury – Guardiola

‘Erling has had a few troubled weeks (with injury),’ the Norway manager said on Haaland’s withdrawal. ‘We have been in dialogue with Man City until the end.

‘Based on the overall situation, the conclusion was that he is better trying to make it for the second match against Finland at home on Sunday.

‘Everyone has seen how it has been lately for Erling. City have not used him unless they absolutely had to. He played the last 25 minutes against Fulham, nothing against Copenhagen and Sevilla. He’s still not quite there.’

Solbakken’s comments indicate Haaland could have a part to play when Norway play Finland in Oslo on Sunday.

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