Erling Haaland will be desperate to get the ultimate revenge on rival Mohamed Salah when Manchester City host Liverpool this weekend.
The Norwegian faces a race against time to feature in the Premier League showdown, which is live on NaijaOnPoint, after suffering a groin injury that sidelined him during the international break.
The City striker underwent recovery in Spain but it remains to be seen whether or not he will be fit to face Liverpool.
And his father, Alf-Inge, has revealed that his son is a huge doubt for the Etihad showdown after sustaining the issue in City’s 6-0 win over Burnley.
But Haaland, a £54million summer signing from Borussia Dortmund, will be keen to have any chance to steal Salah’s most coveted record.
He has already broken City’s single-season scoring record with an incredible 42 goals in 37 games.
Haaland is now just two away from equalling the record in a single campaign for a Premier League club which is currently jointly held by Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2002/03 and Salah in 2017/18.
It would prove especially fitting for the 22-year-old to match the feat against Salah’s Liverpool – with the Egyptian scoring in all of the five games he’s lined up opposite him.
Erling Haaland vs Salah and Liverpool
October 2019 – Liverpool 4-3 Red Bull Salzburg (Salah 2 goals, Haaland 1)
December 2019 – Red Bull Salzburg 0-2 Liverpool (Salah goal)
July 2022 – Liverpool 3-1 Manchester City (Salah goal)
October 2022 – Liverpool 1-0 Manchester City (Salah goal)
December 2022 – Manchester City 3-2 Liverpool (Salah and Haaland goal)
Tottenham break silence on Paratici, Spurs manager target speaks out, Mitrovic says sorry
I made Portugal debut alongside Ronaldo but retired at 25 – now I have dream aviation job
I was left out of England squad so went to Miami then got fined £20,000 – I blame airline
Loftus-Cheek jokes Woodsy is his celebrity crush and reveals Conte fear
Tottenham ‘urgently seeking further clarification from FIFA’ after Paratici worldwide ban
DAZN bidding to broadcast every EFL game live with Premier League deal also eyed
The Reds, and particularly Salah, have proved a bogey team for Haaland, who lost his first four games against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
His first appearance against Liverpool had threatened to become a fairytale as he stepped off the bench to net the equaliser for Red Bull Salzburg having trailed 3-0 at Anfield in the first half.
Salah’s clinical finish nine minutes later condemned Haaland to the losing side of a 4-3 but he had certainly made an impression.
So much so that questions about a young Haaland’s exploits on Merseyside led Virgil van Dijk to walk out of an interview.
Former Norway international Jan-Aage Fjortoft was on punditry duties that night and the Blood Red podcast: “After the game, I interviewed Van Dijk, who I always like to interview because he is a gentleman, and I said ‘I have to ask you about the Norwegian, Erling Haaland‘ and he just said: ‘Well, we won the game’. So I said ‘Yes, but what do you think about him?’
“Van Dijk said: ‘I didn’t see a lot of him’ and he was a bit angry because there was some mistakes done and I said ‘It’s a good sign for a striker when a defender says he didn’t see him!’ – and then he just went away.”
In the reverse fixture Haaland had the chance to become the first player to score in his first six Champions League appearances.
Yet the then-19-year-old striker managed just three shots and 23 touches before he was replaced in a Salah-inspired 2-0 Liverpool win.
Haaland would have to wait almost three years for his next meeting with Liverpool but it couldn’t have come on a bigger occassion.
The Norway international was making his competitive Man City debut when he lined up against the Reds in July’s Community Shield.
Haaland memorably endured 90 minutes of frustration which was capped off with a stunning open goal miss as Salah scored a penalty and Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners.
The former’s own staggering scoring exploits once the Premier League season started meant critics quickly vanished but Haaland will still have been itching to face Liverpool again.
But he was thwarted months later as Salah again proved the hero with his goal securing a 1-0 win at Anfield.
To add insult to injury, Haaland’s foul on Fabinho led to VAR ruling out Phil Foden’s goal that would have given City the lead.
Haaland was then forced to watch the World Cup from home after Norway failed to qualify.
That proved the catalyst for the Leeds-born star to finally end his Liverpool hoodoo, scoring en route to City’s 3-2 win in the Carabao Cup in the first game back for the two sides after the tournament.
Salah still managed to find himself on the scoresheet then but regardless of the 30-year-old’s exploits on Saturday, Haaland can have the ultimate last laugh.
Showdown Saturday on NaijaOnPoint
On Saturday 1 April, it’s all kicking off on NaijaOnPoint.
12:30pm: Starting the day, Man City host Liverpool in a key Premier League game.
3pm: Crystal Palace vs Leicester sees the return of Roy Hodgson to the Selhurst Park dugout.
7pm: Build-up begins for the heavyweight showdown between Anthony Joshua and Jermaine Franklin as AJ starts his route back to the top.
What. A. Day.
You can tune in to NaijaOnPoint via our free online streaming service at NaijaOnPoint.com, DAB digital radio, download the NaijaOnPoint app, or ask your smart speaker to play NaijaOnPoint or NaijaOnPoint 2. NaijaOnPoint is also widely available across the UK on 1089 or 1053 AM.