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Pep Guardiola came to the defence of under-fire goalkeeper Claudio Bravo on Friday afternoon

Pep Guardiola delivers impassioned defence of Manchester City’s under-fire goalkeeper Claudio Bravo after first-choice stopper Ederson is ruled out of Liverpool clash due to thigh injury sustained in Atalanta

  • Man City have been dealt blow after Pep Guardiola confirmed Ederson is injured
  • Guardiola feared No 1 would not be able to make it after suffering a thigh injury 
  • Those concerns were realised after two sets of tests on the muscle problem
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Pep Guardiola launched an impassioned defence of Claudio Bravo as Manchester City head to Anfield on Sunday without Ederson.

A second round of tests on Ederson’s thigh injury yesterday morning ruled the goalkeeper out of the titanic clash against Liverpool.

Bravo, 36, maligned for most of his City career since joining the club in 2016, was sent off after replacing the No 1 against Atalanta at half-time of Wednesday’s 1-1 draw. Guardiola demanded more respect be shown to the Chilean veteran, who will start his first Premier League game since May 2018. 

Pep Guardiola came to the defence of under-fire goalkeeper Claudio Bravo on Friday afternoon

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Pep Guardiola came to the defence of under-fire goalkeeper Claudio Bravo on Friday afternoon

Ederson went off at half-time during City's match away at Atalanta and will miss Liverpool

Ederson went off at half-time during City's match away at Atalanta and will miss Liverpool

Ederson went off at half-time during City’s match away at Atalanta and will miss Liverpool

Manchester City have been dealt a huge blow after Guardiola confirmed Ederson is injured

Manchester City have been dealt a huge blow after Guardiola confirmed Ederson is injured

Manchester City have been dealt a huge blow after Guardiola confirmed Ederson is injured

‘Why should I not be confident with my players in my team?’ Guardiola said. 

‘I’d not want to be a player who was doubted by his manager. I’ve seen him in training and I know how fired up and how good he is — we are not going to lose because of Claudio.

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‘We won the Carabao Cup thanks to Claudio, so he’s an exceptional keeper, he’s won a lot of games with his national team, Chile. So, no doubts.’  

Bravo, who spent much of last season injured, has conceded 21 goals from the last 40 shots he has faced in the Premier League but retains the confidence of his manager.

‘You have to respect this guy,’ Guardiola added. ‘In the first season he was struggling with the Premier League a little because he came here and the team was not at top level. The problem was not Claudio. It is easy to point that this is the problem.

‘Why should I not have any confidence with a player in my team? He wouldn’t be here (otherwise).’

Ederson came off at half-time in the draw with Atalanta at the San Siro, a game that ended with Kyle Walker donning the gloves after substitute Bravo was sent off for a rash challenge on Josip Ilicic as Atalanta broke menacingly in the 80th minute.

Claudio Bravo, who was sent off against Atalanta, is set to deputise in goal against Liverpool
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Claudio Bravo, who was sent off against Atalanta, is set to deputise in goal against Liverpool

Claudio Bravo, who was sent off against Atalanta, is set to deputise in goal against Liverpool

City are ravaged by injury problems but Sportsmail understands central midfielder Rodri is being given every chance to prove his fitness for a place on the bench. The midfielder trained on Friday as he fights to return from a thigh problem. 

Meanwhile, Merseyside Police confirmed on Friday that they are ‘aware’ of a poster circulated on social media urging a hostile reception for the City bus. 

Last season’s league match was incident-free following the ugly scenes that preceded a Champions League clash in late 2018. 

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Guardiola said: ‘I love it (the atmosphere). I didn’t like what happened in the bus outside the stadium but in the stadium when they support the team, it’s perfect, it’s lovely, that’s why we’re involved in this business.’