Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson has been ruled out of Sunday’s huge game between the Citizens and Liverpool at Anfield.
The Brazilian suffered a muscular injury against Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday, and was substituted off at half-time.
The South American will miss his first Premier League game of the season, with Pep Guardiola confirming Claudio Bravo will deputise (Sky Sports).
Bravo replaced Ederson at San Siro, but his night ended early after he saw red for bringing down Josip Ilicic as the last man – leading to Kyle Walker having to go in goal.
City held on for a point, but after the game Micah Richards made a very good point about Bravo that Liverpool have to consider.
The former full-back said on BT Sport (quoted by MEN): “It’s a tough blow for any team losing their number one goalkeeper but Ederson is pivotal to the way City play.
“Bravo’s confidence after getting sent off, I wonder where his head will be for the weekend. I worry because Ederson is a massive, massive part of how they play.
“I’m sure the people at Anfield will be very happy.
“He’s [Bravo] been brought in to do a job, he hasn’t been playing as good as he would like, you’d like to think he’d be professional enough to see out the game but to get a red card after only being on a few minutes, it can kill your confidence.”
TBR’s view – Liverpool must exploit potentially huge weakness
As Richards says, Bravo’s red card could potentially have knocked his confidence slightly ahead of this huge game.
It is therefore important for Liverpool to ensure they give the Chilean veteran absolutely nothing for free at Anfield.
The Reds must press the £80,000-a-week star (Spotrac) as hard and as often as they can as a unit, and challenge him from set pieces.
They have to unsettle him, as he simply does not have that same calmness and authority as Ederson.