Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has claimed that Erling Haaland is finally fit to return to the pitch. The superstar striker has missed two months of action due to suffering a foot injury in early December. City is hosting Burnley, and their former captain Vincent Kompany, on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Kompany now manages the Clarets.

Guardiola told reporters on Tuesday that Haaland has recovered from the setback in time for the Burnley clash. “Apparently, he will be selected. [This is] the first time he is back,” the City boss told reporters about whether Haaland is fit.

“Erling is an important player for us. Two months out, but he feels good. We have a training session [today], but apparently tomorrow he will be with us.”

The positive news will give the club a boost heading into an important part of the season. City currently sits second in the Premier League standings, five points behind league leaders Liverpool. Guardiola’s team does, however, have an extra game in hand compared to the Reds.

Man City improved its place in Premier League table without Haaland

Haaland last played for the reigning European champions during a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on December 6th. As a result, City was forced to play 10 total games, including five Premier League fixtures, without the center forward.

Interestingly enough, the club was undefeated without the Norwegian manning the front line for Guardiola. This includes dominating the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia and beating Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur domestically. In contrast, City was winless in their last four matches with Haaland in the team.

Guardiola’s club improved their place in the top-flight table with the goal machine on the sidelines. City previously sat fourth in the standings following the aforementioned Villa loss. However, they have since climbed up to second after winning four of their last five Premier League matches. This also came as the club missed a match due to participating in the Club World Cup.

Striker set for reunion with formally injured star midfielder

Nevertheless, Haaland will now be able to rejoin his teammates on the pitch. Fellow superstar Kevin De Bruyne also recently returned from injury as well. Guardiola has opted to slowly ease the Belgian midfielder into action, rather than give him 90 minutes from the start. De Bruyne has not played more than 33 minutes in a game since recovering from a hamstring issue earlier this month.

The City manager asserted on Tuesday that Haaland will not receive similar treatment. Instead, the striker looks set to start Wednesday’s Burnley matchup. “Kevin’s was muscular with surgery, so it was a completely different approach,” Guardiola said on the difference between the two player’s injuries. “Erling’s was a stress on the bone, so a different approach. Step by step.”

The two superstars have not played at least 80 minutes together since City’s 4-0 thumping of Real Madrid back in May. The victory gave the club a place in the UEFA Champions League Final, a match they eventually went on to win.

De Bruyne was a key figure in Haaland’s record-breaking 2022/23 campaign. The midfielder provided assists in eight of the forward’s 36 goals in the Premier League last season. No other duo directly combined for more goals in the English top flight during the campaign.