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Manchester City's Erling Haaland during training. The Norwegian forward is expected to play in Sunday's clash against Nottingham Forest. Image Credit: Reuters

Manchester: Manchester City could have their prolific scorer Erling Haaland back for Sunday’s Premier League game against Nottingham Forest, manager Pep Guardiola hinted after Thursday’s clinical 4-0 thrashing of Brighton & Hove Albion.

The forward, who is joint top of the league’s scoring charts this season with Chelsea’s Cole Palmer on 20 goals, sat out both Thursday’s league game and Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final win over Chelsea with a muscle injury.

“I prefer to have Erling at my disposal than to have (the squad without him),” Guardiola told reporters.

“I spoke with him, and he says he feels better, I don’t know.”

City climbed to within a point of leaders Arsenal with their Brighton victory, but with a game in hand over the Gunners are firmly in the driver’s seat to win a historic fourth successive league title.

While Forest are battling relegation just a point above the drop zone, City cannot overlook any opponent with only five games remaining and zero margin for error, Guardiola said.

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Haaland, who couldn't reproduce his magic against Real Madrid, sat out Thursday's big win against Brighton and Hove with an injury. Image Credit: AFP

“I’ve been in that stadium (Forest’s City Ground) and always it is unbelievable, but what I’m concerned about is the strikers they have, we have to control the weapons that they have,” he said.

City’s depth of weapons was on full display on Thursday as Phil Foden struck twice for five goals in his last two league appearances. The 23-year-old England international has taken his game to another level with 24 goals across all competitions this season.

Extra sixth gear

“I said many times Phil has a sixth gear,” Guardiola said. “But he cannot play all the time in the sixth gear, he has to play with a second or the third. And I think with time he will learn that, (Thursday) he was much better.

“Everything is so quick. Football has to be sometimes slower, to surprise the opponent. And today was really good, he attacked in the right moment he needed to attack, but it is a question of time, he will understand the game through years and years and experiences.

“He loves to play, and his work ethic is unbelievable, how he runs and presses. We are really pleased and hopefully in the last month we have ahead of us, he doesn’t stop.”

City’s final four games are against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.