Pep Guardiola must be good at poker as fantasy football owners bite their nails in anticipation of the return of their team’s main man.
The Spanish manager gave nothing away to indicate whether Erling Haaland will feature, however he did admit that he will take a decision on Friday as to if the striker can play against Fulham.
The next question will be whether Haaland is fit enough to last the whole game or just long enough to score some points, hoping for double figures at least. Like last week, the doubt still remains whether he will feature against Fulham.
He has not played for over a week after sustaining a bruised foot ligament in the goalless draw against his former team, and eventually sat out the Leicester City game although there was much confusion as to his involvement beforehand.
According to Pep, he returned training on Thursday and has not suffered a setback.
"“He’s much better. We will decide today. It is a good step to start training. now we have training this afternoon and we will see,” he said. “If he is good for 90 minutes or less minutes, we will see after training.”"
FPL owners will be waiting by their phones at 14:00 GMT to see if Haaland is starting from kick-off, particularly as he is still owned by 80% of teams.
He scored a hat-trick against another newly promoted team, Nottingham Forest, but failed to score against Bournemouth, so it is not guaranteed the Norwegian will bag the points against Fulham.
Want your voice heard? Join the Man City Square team!
That is after Fulham seem the most defensively sound of the three promoted teams as they perform above expectations and lie in seventh position so far.
Still worth the risk?
Most definitely! There’s a higher chance that he will start than the Leicester fixture game when I left him but to strip him of the captain’s armband. Kevin De Bruyne will remain the captain for me, just in case, as I’m still pessimistic to see him start.
You cannot criticise making him captain though.
The striker has scored 17 goals in just 11 Premier League appearances, amassing 117 points without being a captain pick, over 30 points ahead of his nearest challenger, Harry Kane.
Those statistics almost guarantee his return if fully fit and selected over Julian Alvarez. This is despite the Argentine playing a superb game with a goal and two assists in midweek against Sevilla.
He will feel unfortunate to miss out but you (City and Alvarez fans) can’t be too disappointed with the giant Nordic machine waiting in the wings.
All we can hope for is a Haaland hat-trick at the Etihad with three points to take into the final game before the World Cup.