Manchester City visiting Leeds United on Wednesday night will be a very special affair for Erling Haaland. The Premier League’s leading scorer was born in Leeds when his father Alfie Haaland played for the club, before he himself joined City in 2000.
Haaland also worked under Marsch at RB Salzburg. “Erling texted me as soon as the schedule came out,” Marsch said at a press conference earlier this week. ‘I gave him permission to have a small hamstring injury for that match.
Manchester City at Leeds United FYIs
Competition: Boxing Day, Premier League Return
Kickoff: Tue Dec 28 8pm GMT, Elland Road
Man City Starting XI Prediction: go here
Google Probability: City Win 75% Draw 15% Leeds United Win 10%
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Yes, this is a circle the date on the calendar kind of match for both sides.
“He was born in Leeds, his father has history here and he has the club in his heart because of that. When I got the job, him and his father were supportive.
“We’ll expect him to be fully ready and that causes issues for us,” Marsch added.
Indeed it would be a huge help for Marsch, and 15th place Leeds to have Haaland, who is indeed The Next Big Thing in world football, miss out on this one, with a hypothetical hamstring injury, but in reality the big Norwegian Meat Shield is fully fit.
Team News for Both Sides
City have zero known injury issues, but Aymeric Laporte and Julian Alvarez could miss out here having just played in the World Cup final with Argentina.
As for Marsch, he has plenty of selection issues to contend with.
Patrick Bamford (groin), Illan Meslier (illness) and Junior Firpo (groin) are doubts for this one. Meanwhile Tyler Adams (suspension), Stuart Dallas (thigh), Luis Sinisterra (ankle), Archie Gray (ankle) are all out.
That’s quite the laundry list, of course.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.