Chelsea and Manchester United could benefit after Everton defender Ben Godfrey found a ‘weakness’ in Erling Haaland, according to one pundit.
Manchester City won the race for Haaland in summer 2022, matching his Borussia Dortmund release clause to take him to the Etihad. According to The Guardian, the move was worth £51.5million.
Haaland hit an incredible 86 goals in 89 games for Dortmund, and he has somehow managed to improve on that form under Pep Guardiola. He is on 27 goals from just 21 appearances so far this season.
He had to sit at home during the Qatar World Cup as Norway did not manage to qualify for the tournament. The striker was raring to go as soon as domestic football resumed and he found the net during the 3-2 Carabao Cup win over Liverpool.
Since then, Haaland has registered a brace in a victory against Leeds United and another goal during a frustrating 1-1 draw with Everton.
While the 22-year-old managed to score against the Toffees, finishing past Jordan Pickford after a clever pull-back from Riyad Mahrez, he did not have one of his vintage, dominant performances.
Everton star Godfrey kept him at bay for periods of the match and even managed to wind him up.
Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has now suggested making Haaland angry could be his ‘weakness’. Chelsea are highly likely to try this when they play City on Thursday night.
Man Utd must prevent Erling Haaland repeat
Manchester United could also benefit in the Manchester derby, which will occur on Saturday January 14. The Red Devils will be desperate to keep Haaland at bay. That is because he stunned them with three goals and two assists in his first Manchester derby.
“You could see that he [Haaland] was getting frustrated,” Robinson said during an interview with Football Insider.
“I think we all thought Haaland was untouchable and unplayable but Godfrey has clearly found a weakness.
“It is up to Haaland now to react to what happened positively. If there is any chink in the armour shown other centre-halves are going to pounce on it. They will try and wind Haaland up as Godfrey did.
“You have to give Godfrey credit for that and for the way he played. That is one of the reasons why Frank [Lampard] put him in the team. He knew he was capable of doing a job on him.
“Haaland did not like the way he was played against that day. Perhaps he is human after all. Perhaps defenders can get the better of him if they use the right methods.”
Robinson is right, as other defenders now need to try this tactic out on Haaland. Not much else seems to work against the goal machine. So Chelsea and Man Utd defenders may as well give it a go.
Although, there is a risk to this strategy. Getting Haaland fired up and angry could result in him becoming even more desperate to punish defenders and score goals, if that is possible.
Meanwhile, a journalist claims Graham Potter is looking at two French players to improve his midfield, in addition to Enzo Fernandez’s signing.
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