Erling Haaland will not take part in today’s clash with Luton Town as Pep Guardiola makes four changes from the side who lost to Aston Villa in midweek.

Returning to the starting XI are Rodrigo, Nathan Ake, Mateo Kovacic and Jack Grealish.

Haaland is not in the matchday squad, while Rico Lewis, John Stones and Manuel Akanji all drop to the bench.


Haaland update

Pep Guardiola revealed Haaland had “bone stress reaction in his foot and he cannot play” adding the Norwegian felt the issue after the game against Aston Villa.

Asked when he was likely to return, the City boss admitted he didn’t know  the extent of the problem and that Haaland would be assessed “day by day, week by week.”

“We play with 11 that’s for sure. Erling has been so important since he’s arrived that’s for sure.

“But during the season we see this sort of thing. Injuries, suspensions, problems, we have to adapt.

Julian Alvarez will be playing.”


LUTON TOWN XI: Kaminski; Mengi, Lockyer, Bell; Doughty, Nakamba, Barkley, Giles; Townsend, Brown; Adebayo.

Subs: Krul, Andersen, Berry, Morris, Chong, Mpanzu, Clark, Lokonga, Johnson.

CITY XI: Ederson, Walker (c), Dias, Ake, Gvardiol, Rodrigo, Kovacic, Bernardo, Foden, Grealish, Alvarez

Subs: Ortega Moreno, Carson, Phillips, Stones, Akanji, Nunes, Bobb, Lewis, Gomez

Tactics and probable formation

City look set for a 4-3-3 formation and will aim to play our usual possession-based, high press game.

Expect a back four of Kyle Walker and Josko Gvardiol at right and left-back respectively, with Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake in central defence.

Rodrigo makes a welcome return and will anchor the midfield trio that also includes Bernardo and Kovacic.

Grealish and Phil Foden are likely to start on the flanks with Julian Alvarez the central forward.

Improving Luton

They say the Premier League table never lies, but it perhaps doesn’t tell the whole story.

Luton Town have lost 10 of their opening league games since returning to the top flight and have won only one game in seven at Kenilworth Road.

Yet their results don’t quite reflect their performances – certainly of late.

Liverpool scored a last gasp equaliser to claim a 1-1 draw last month, Arsenal needed a goal seven minutes into added time to claim a thrilling 4-3 win in midweek and Spurs edged a 1-0 win – all at Kenilworth Road.

It’s fair to say Luton could have won all three of those games, and they caused numerous problems for their loftier opponents throughout each game.

City’s recent form hasn’t been up to our usual standards and the Hatters will no doubt be buoyed by the fact that the Blues haven’t won in four games.

Expect Rob Edwards’ side to be up for this clash from the off and the home support raucous and noisy.

Kenilworth Road is a small stadium, with a feeling that the crowd are on top of the players, so it’s vital City settle quickly and hopefully edge ahead to take the wind out of the hosts’ sails.


Nathan Ake will make his 100th City appearance this afternoon.

Ake will hit the century milestone in today’s away clash against Luton Town after being named in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI at Kenilworth Road.

In the process, he becomes the 22nd player to reach the landmark during the Guardiola era and the first of them to come from the Netherlands.

Of our current crop, he will join Bernardo Silva (322), Kevin De Bruyne (317), Ederson (307), Kyle Walker (274), Phil Foden (238), John Stones (235), Rodrigo (225), Ruben Dias (151) and Jack Grealish (104) in the 100-club.

Stats and facts

  • This is the first meeting between Luton Town and City since April 1999, a third tier league meeting which was won 2-0 by City with goals by Paul Dickov and Tony Vaughan.
  • City are unbeaten in their last nine league games against Luton Town (W4 D5) since losing 1-0 at Kenilworth Road in September 1986.
  • City have won 13 of their last 14 Premier League games against newly promoted sides (D1) since a 1-2 home defeat to Leeds United in April 2021. Away from home, the Citizens are unbeaten in 13 league games against promoted sides (W11 D2) since defeat at Norwich in September 2019 (2-3).
  • Luton have won each of their last seven home league games against reigning top-flight champions, with these coming from 1985-86 to 1991-92. In English top-flight history, only Newcastle United (9 from 1899-00 to 1910-11) have ever had a longer home winning run over defending champions. Luton’s last such defeat was in 1984-85 to Liverpool (1-2).
  • Luton remain without a Premier League clean sheet so far this season (15 games). 33% of their goals conceded at Kenilworth Road this term came in their 4-3 defeat against Arsenal last time out (4/12).
  • City are winless in their last four Premier League matches (D3 L1), their worst run since March and April 2017 (also four winless games). City haven’t gone five without a win since a run of seven in October and November 2009, while manager Pep Guardiola has never gone five in a row without a win in his top-flight managerial career.
  • City striker Erling Haaland has scored nine goals in eight Premier League games against promoted sides, only failing to find the net in two of these appearances (v Bournemouth in August 2022 and Nottingham Forest in February).
  • Alfie Doughty has created more chances (28), provided more assists (3) and played more passes into the box (110) than any other Luton player in the Premier League this season. 18 of his chances created have been from set plays, including all three of his assists so far.
  • City’s last five defeats in all competitions have all been when Rodri hasn’t featured, including their recent 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa. By contrast, City are unbeaten in their last 43 games with the Spaniard in the team (W33 D10) since a 1-0 defeat at Spurs in February.