Original article published 16 October 2022
It took all of two months for the conversation to shift from whether or not Erling Braut Haaland would adapt to Pep Guardiola and the Premier League to wondering what records he won’t obliterate.
Suggesting he wouldn’t hit the ground running and would take time to fit into Manchester City’s style now looks like the most Siberian of freezing cold takes.
The Norwegian is closing in on last season’s Golden Boot tally and we’re not yet a quarter of the way through the season.
He’s looked as unstoppable as anyone has ever looked in the Premier League, scoring 13 times in the seven games since the peculiar blank at home to Bournemouth, and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are the next side tasked with shackling the 22-year-old.
It’s a terrifying prospect for any defence, but especially one that has been particularly leaky to sides not featuring strikers of Haaland’s calibre.
So far this season, Liverpool have conceded twice on the opening day to newly-promoted Fulham, twice to a previously-all-at-sea Manchester United, and most recently three to Brighton and three more to Arsenal.
To make matters worse, Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold are set to miss Sunday’s clash at Anfield, and Virgil van Dijk no longer looks as imperious as he has in recent years.
Kevin De Bruyne meanwhile, has never looked more imperious.
He’s never been short of players to provide service to, but in Haaland he has a genuine generational talent to link up with.
The brilliant Belgian has registered nine assists so far this season, with no one else even on five.
Two of his City team-mates – Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva – are amongst his nearest chasers, with Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, on four, but already, De Bruyne is well on his way to leading the assist charts come the end of the season.
At some point in time – as hard as it may seem to believe right now – Erling Haaland will complete 90 minutes of football for Manchester City and fail to find the net.
But at 4/6 to score anytime at Anfield, nobody would be surprised to see him bag in his eighth consecutive Premier League game.
And at that point, attentions will certainly turn to whether Haaland can reach Jamie Vardy’s record of 11 consecutive games.
Three guesses as to who City play when Haaland could be looking to equal the record…
But before their trip to Leicester, Guardiola’s men have a trip to Arsenal before the visit of Brighton. Leicester would be 11, and Haaland may then be up against Fulham at the Etihad looking to break Vardy’s record.
It’s all a long way away, but at 9/2 for Haaland to break Vardy’s record, it could be on the horizon sooner than we think.
As far as Sunday’s game goes, however, Haaland is 3/1 to outscore Liverpool on his own.
Liverpool are 1/1 to outscore Haaland – which may well take two goals or better – with the tie priced at 7/4.