Erling Haaland was not included in Manchester City’s squad to face Liverpool on Saturday after failing to recover from a groin injury.
The Norway star has 42 goals in 37 games for City this season, but had been a doubt after suffering the injury that ruled him out of the recent international break, with Pep Guardiola saying on Friday that his star striker’s availability remained uncertain.
Haaland was not even named among the substitutes, as Julian Alvarez took his place up front in the team to face the Reds.
Guardiola made six changes to the team that thrashed Burnley 6-0 in the FA Cup last time out as City aimed to keep the pressure on leaders Arsenal in the Premier League title race.
Ederson, John Stones, Manuel Akanji, Nathan Ake, Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish came in for Stefan Ortega, Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, Rico Lewis, Haaland and Phil Foden, who has also been sidelined after having his appendix removed.
Jurgen Klopp made two changes from the side that lost 1-0 to Real Madrid as Liverpool exited the Champions League last time out, with captain Jordan Henderson taking the place of James Milner in midfield, while Harvey Elliott came in for Darwin Nunez.
Klopp opted for a front three of Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah as Liverpool looked to give their top-four hopes a boost at the Etihad Stadium.