Monday 27 January 2020

Pep has 'no doubts' on Bravo

Claudio Bravo
Claudio Bravo

Claudio Bravo will make his first Premier League appearance in 18 months in the white heat of a title tussle with Liverpool, but Pep Guardiola has full faith in his replacement goalkeeper.

Regular number one Ederson has been ruled out of tomorrow's Anfield trip after coming off at half-time in the midweek draw in Atalanta, a game that ended with Kyle Walker donning the gloves after substitute Bravo was sent off for a rash challenge.

That was hardly the confidence-boosting cameo the former Barcelona man would have wanted, but he now faces the prospect of facing the table-topping Reds having last started a league game on the final day of the 2017/18 campaign.

There is no doubt Ederson's absence represents a further blow to a City side who sit six points adrift of their rivals and have won at Anfield only once since 1981, but Guardiola did not miss a beat as he offered Bravo his complete confidence.

"He (Ederson) is not able to play. But we have another top keeper," he said.

"We won the Carabao Cup (in 2018) thanks to Claudio, so he's an exceptional keeper. He's won a lot of games with his national team, Chile. So, no doubts."

Guardiola has become well versed in managing enforced absences this season, with lingering doubts over David Silva and Rodri's availability and the trio of Oleksandar Zinchenko, Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte sidelined for extended periods.

"I know what is going to happen if we lose, people will say it's over, but there are a lot of games to play and experience in sport is that you have to fight until the end," he said.

"You have to imagine they are not going to lose too many games but the season is long, a lot of games and situations can happen."

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