Manchester City will be without goalkeeper Ederson for their key game against Liverpool on Super Sunday.
The Brazil goalkeeper suffered a muscular problem in the 1-1 draw with Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday.
City boss Pep Guardiola, whose side trail leaders Liverpool by six points, has confirmed Claudio Bravo will start at Anfield.
Bravo, who was sent off in Italy in midweek, last started a league game for the club in May 2018.
“Ederson is not able to play on Sunday,” said Guardiola. “How long is he out for? I don’t know.
“We have another top goalkeeper. We won the Carabao Cup and FA Cup thanks to Claudio Bravo. He is an exceptional goalkeeper and has played a lot of games for Chile.
“Why shouldn’t I be confident in my players? I would not like to be a player if my manager doubts me.
“I see him every day in training sessions, how good a player he is. We’re not going to lose because of Claudio.
“He has had a long career at the top, won the Copa America. Respect that guy, he is an incredible, top, top ‘keeper.”
Liverpool vs Man City
November 10, 2019, 4:00pm
Manchester City have not won at Anfield since 2003 and defeat on Sunday would see them fall nine points behind the Premier League leaders.
“I know people will say if we lose [the title race] is over but there are a lot of games still to play and I want to fight until the end,” said Guardiola.
“It will be more difficult [if City lose], of course. Liverpool lost only one game last season and are unbeaten this season. You’d think they’re not going to lose many games but the season is long. A lot of situations can happen.”
Sky Sports News reporter Ben Ransom was at Guardiola’s news conference on Friday afternoon. Here, he gives us his take on Pep’s comments:
As is often the case with Pep Guardiola pressers, he took a little bit of time to warm up and settle in to his weekly audience with the world’s media.
It was apparent that Guardiola was determined to heed his own advice (and Jurgen Klopp’s before him) by not pouring any more “oil on the fire” to escalate a war of words which began when he accused Liverpool’s Sadio Mane of “diving” following their respective come-from-behind victories at the weekend.
To be fair, Guardiola had already admitted his mistake in Italy in midweek when I asked him about those comments in particular, and he had back-tracked in an attempt to clear-the-air.
It had prompted Klopp to throw “tactical fouls” back in the direction of the City manager, another subject that was not going to trap Guardiola today as he simply reiterated the “no comment” responses he gave in Milan.
While Pep brushed off any questions relating to mind-games, he did speak in glowing terms about the way Jurgen Klopp has built his Liverpool team into title contenders that are “marvellous to watch”.
He lit up when talking about the prospect of facing them at Anfield, almost challenging the Liverpool fans to be at their noisiest when he walks out of the tunnel with this City team into the cauldron.
Guardiola’s reigning champions have not won there, a fact that applies to every City player since May 2003, but make no mistake, Pep has faith in his players to stand-up to the pressure that only a game this big can bring.