Before their trip to Liverpool, champions Manchester City have been dealt with a blow, as manager Pep Guardiola confirmed on Friday that their goalkeeper Ederson is ruled out of the fixture with a "muscular problem".
Ederson was taken off at half-time of Manchester City’s chaotic 1-1 draw against Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday. The Brazilian was replaced by Claudio Bravo, who was later sent off after a challenge of Josip Ilicic. Kyle Walker, wing-back in nature, had to don the gloves for the remainder of the match.
In a press conference, Guardiola confirmed that the 26-year-old is not fit to play, but has full faith on reserve goalkeeper Bravo to step up to the occasion.
"He’s (Ederson) not able to play tomorrow, I don’t know how long he is out," he said.
"Sunday he cannot play. We have another top keeper. Claudio Bravo can do it too, we won the Carabao Cup and FA Cup thanks to Claudio. He has a lot of experience with Chile. I have no doubts."
PEP 💬 For me as a manager, last season when we won the league, (Liverpool were) the best contender I ever faced in my career.
Right now they are one of the strongest teams in the world. We are going to try to follow the plan in this game.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 8, 2019
Although the Chilean goalkeeper has not played a league match since May 2018, the manager has full support for him. After signing from Barcelona in 2016, Bravo endured a difficult first campaign at the Etihad Stadium, before being replaced by Ederson in 2017.
"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 and how good a goalkeeper he is, we’re not going to lose because of Claudio."
"The red card at Atalanta is because we lost the ball in a dangerous position. He won the Copa America, respect that guy, he’s an incredible goalkeeper," the 48-year-old Spanish manager added.
Liverpool, sitting at the top of the table, are unbeaten in 11 games this season and lead Manchester City by six points. The Jurgen Klopp-managed side are also unbeaten in their last 43 league games at home and welcome the reigning champions that have won 11 of their last 12 away matches.