Claudio Bravo

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Pep sticking with Bravo for final: “Locker room more important”

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Petr Cech and Ederson will watch from the bench as their clubs start the League Cup Final on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola announced that Manchester City will turn to Claudio Bravo between the sticks against Arsenal, which has already appointed David Ospina as its backstop for the final.

[ MORE: Europa League draw ]

And if you think Pep, having seen his side lose to Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup, should go back to Ederson for the final, he gets it.

“You can have an opinion, I am the manager. We are here for Claudio. He saved two lots of penalties. He deserves to play in the final. The locker room is more important than the final.”

The points aren’t completely independent, of course, but at this point the final is pretty darn important as Man City could see its trophy potential drop from 4-2 in little more than a week’s time.

Bravo has played just 45 minutes in the Premier League, against Liverpool in relief of Ederson, but has been the man for each of eight League and FA Cup matches.

City has just one clean sheet in that group, but won the seven matches apart from the 1-0 Wigan defeat. Two of those, against Wolves and Leicester, came in penalty kicks.

Young Man City wins in PKs (video)

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A penalty deep into eight minutes of stoppage time nearly cost Manchester City its chance at a quadruple.

The Premier League leaders’ B-Team led Leicester City 1-0 on a Bernardo Silva goal when Demarai Gray was awarded a controversial penalty.

The teams played 30 minutes of scoreless stoppage time before moving to penalty kicks, where Jamie Vardy missed Leicester’s fourth kick after Ilkay Gundogan, Yaya Toure, Lukas Nmecha, and Gabriel Jesus had connected for Man City. Claudio Bravo then saved Riyad Mahrez‘s attempt to seal it.

[ MORE: Arsenal eliminates West Ham ]

Manchester City really switched up its XI, with only Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus semi-regular starters in the XI. Tosin Adarabioyo, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Brahim Diaz were among the unusual starters.

Leicester City boss Claude Puel, having seen his side buried 3-0 by Crystal Palace at the weekend, did not start Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy, or Demarai Gray.

But once down at halftime, Puel put Mahrez and Vardy into the fold.

Gray later entered, and just as Gundogan’s goal looked set to carry the match, hit the deck under Kyle Walker‘s challenge.

Vardy converted the penalty just into eight minutes of stoppage time to promise extra time.

Here is City’s goal: a nice pass from Gundogan, but what a tidy and powerful jab strike from Silva to make it 1-0.

Jesus turned a Walker cross onto Ben Hamer as extra time started at the KP.

Leicester had its chances, none better than Claudio Bravo’s dalliance with a clearance nearly caroming off Vardy and inside the goal.

Hamer then corraled a Yaya Toure free kick just before the break. Mahrez tested Bravo in the second frame, and Toure had another dig toward Hamer in the 120th minute.

Bravo fit again, but will he start Chile’s Confed Cup group finale?

Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images
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MOSCOW (AP) Claudio Bravo is fit again and could start in goal against Australia at the Confederations Cup on Sunday, Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi said Saturday.

Bravo – who is Chile’s joint most-capped player with Alexis Sanchez – hasn’t played since April 27, when he injured his calf for Manchester City in a derby game with Manchester United.

“Claudio is fit, he’s managed to train the last couple of days just like his other teammates,” Pizzi said. “He’s ready and available to play.”

Pizzi brushed off concerns about a lack of match fitness, saying that “quite obviously we take into account that factor” but players like Bravo are “are of such good quality that it isn’t that important they haven’t played in the last couple of months.”

Stand-in Johnny Herrera played in Chile’s 2-0 group stage win over Cameroon and Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Germany.

Gary Medel was substituted with a minor injury while playing in defense for Chile against Germany. Teammate Francisco Silva said Saturday that Medel had complained of “a very small muscle contraction issue” but was now fit.

Pizzi said he will aim to tire out Australia with Chile’s trademark all-action style, even though his team struggled for energy in the latter stages against Germany.

“This energy drop we had in the second half didn’t damage us too much because the opposing team couldn’t maintain a high pace because of the demands we’d imposed on them,” Pizzi said of the Germany game.

“We’re going to try to get (the Australians) tired as well and use this to beat our opponent, and we hope this is going to translate into goals.”

Benfica keeper Ederson joins Man City for world-record fee

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Manchester City has been busy early on this summer, and Pep Guardiola appears to have retrieved the goalkeeper he has wanted for the foreseeable future.

[ MORE: Diego Costa says he has “to find a way out” of Chelsea ]

The four-time Premier League champions announced on Thursday the club has signed Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson from Portuguese champions Benfica.

The transfer fee is reportedly valued at over $45 million after City acquired the 23-year-old on a six-year contract.

Ederson is expected to be Guardiola’s goalkeeper of choice heading into next season after 2016 signing Claudio Bravo underwhelmed in his first season at the Etihad Stadium.

Meanwhile, Guardiola is short on other goalkeeping options after City recently released Willy Caballero and the status of Joe Hart remains uncertain.

The Citizens have already gone out and signed Portuguese playmaker Bernardo Silva from Ligue 1 champions AS Monaco ahead of the 2017/18 season.

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Guardiola: Man City suffers from inconsistency; Bravo out for season

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The calf injury that sidelined Claudio Bravo during the Manchester Derby will keep the Chilean off the field for the remainder of the Premier League season.

It’s been a rocky PL debut season for Pep Guardiola‘s handpicked goalkeeper, in some ways mirroring his manager’s run in the league.

While Man City is in strong position to qualify for another season in the UEFA Champions League, the blue side of Manchester will fall short in their goals of a Premier League title.

[ MORE: Messi suspension lifted ]

Perhaps that was too much to expect given Guardiola’s system’s first real run through England (and Wales), but with Antonio Conte‘s success comes a harsher curve. From the BBC:

“I thought home games would be easier than away. We will try to keep our away record and improve our home record next season.

“The team was more inconsistent than consistent this season. That’s why we suffered. I realize how they play here and I have to adapt.”

City will a more consistent side with a full year of Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus, as well as another summer of recruitment. Any doubts City will take another step in Guardiola’s second season? Lay them below.

Man City hosts Crystal Palace at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday. The full schedule is here.