Manchester City striker, Erling Haaland has insisted that he will concentrate on himself and not focus on his challenge with Man United defender, Lisandro Martinez in today’s Manchester derby.
Both players will come up against each other at the Etihad, with City looking to keep pace with early leaders, Arsenal.
Haaland, speaking to Sky Sports, insisted he is concentrating on himself.
He said: “I haven’t thought too much about this, although I’ve thought about it now you’ve said it. But I think if we play our game properly, it doesn’t matter who stands in the defence or which team it is.
“I try to focus mostly on myself. Of course, if there’s something in the analysis or the coach tells me something [I will do it], but I mostly focus on myself.”
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Style of play
A prolific goalscorer, Haaland has all the attributes of a complete centre-forward. He uses his sizeable frame to hold play up effectively and involve others. He has the pace and clever movement to run in behind; he can dribble and create; and he can finish with both feet and his head. He usually comes deep to collect the ball to help his team build play, often looking to spread the ball wide for a teammate, before turning and sprinting towards goal.
He sometimes comes too deep for the defenders to follow him, as such he has the awareness to turn on the ball and create from a forward-facing position. In the penalty area, he makes small, sharp movements to spot an opportunity for a teammate to attempt to find him in space, and can change the line on which he is running and accelerate into that space, making him extremely difficult for defenders to read.
He uses his body well when playing with his back to goal, protecting the ball effectively as he tries to bring it under control. Given he can use his strength to secure possession when under pressure, he is also effective in providing his team’s defenders with some respite following a clearance. Haaland’s creativity is most apparent when he drifts into the left inside channel. His primary aim is always to get a shot off, but he also has the vision and skill to pick out a delayed run from midfield in the centre. His ability to carry the ball at pace also helps create for others, especially on the counter-attack.
Haaland idolizes Zlatan Ibrahimović and Cristiano Ronaldo, but also cites Michu, Jamie Vardy, Sergio Agüero and Robin van Persie as inspirations, and credits Virgil van Dijk and Sergio Ramos as two of the toughest defenders he has played against.
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