Young Boys expect to face fearsome Man City side, with or without Erling Haaland

Young Boys coach Raphael Wicky expects to face a fearsome Manchester City side on Tuesday, whether it includes Erling Haaland or not.

Haaland, City’s prolific Norwegian striker, is doubtful for the holders’ Champions League Group G clash against the Swiss outfit at the Etihad Stadium with an ankle injury.

The 23-year-old, who scored 52 goals in City’s treble-winning campaign last season, has already netted 13 times this season including two against Wicky’s team in Bern last month.

Raphael Wicky
Young Boys coach Raphael Wicky held a press conference at the Etihad Stadium on Monday (Martin Rickett/PA)

A failure to prove his fitness would enhance Young Boys’ chances of pulling off a shock win but Wicky is well aware there are plenty more dangermen in the City ranks.

“First of all, I never wish a player to have an injury,” said Wicky at his pre-match press conference. “I am a former player, so I hope he really is not too much injured.

“On the other hand, I cannot control who the opponents’ coach puts on the field.

“If Erling Haaland is not playing, there will be a very, very good player on the field. I’m not losing too much energy on that.

“It’s more focusing on us, having the right mindset and going with the right mindset into this game.

“We’re playing against what I think is the best team in the world at the moment and City will be playing extremely well.”

City won 3-1 in their meeting at the Wankdorf Stadium a fortnight ago to move within another victory of securing their place in the last 16.

Erling Haaland scores against Young Boys
Haaland scored twice against Young Boys in Bern (Zac Goodwin/PA)

It would be a surprise if the hosts did not book their passage into the knockout stages but Wicky, who oversaw Basel’s unexpected triumph at the Etihad in 2018 – albeit after they had comprehensively lost the first leg of that tie, is ruling nothing out.

He said: “I think the most important thing is to believe that in football everything is possible, that you can, in one game, beat the best teams.

“Lots of teams have shown that and I was able to live it five years ago. I think we have to transmit that to the team.”