Claudio Bravo to start against Arsenal in EFL Cup Final

James Benge
Up for the cup | Claudio Bravo: Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola intends to play Claudio Bravo in goal for the EFL Cup Final against Arsenal on Sunday.

Bravo has played second-fiddle to summer signing Ederson in the Premier League this season with all bar one of his eight appearances this season having come in the EFL and FA cups.

In the former competition Bravo has enjoyed great success, saving three penalties across shoot-our wins against Wolves and Leicester in the fourth round and quarter-finals.

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Last season Bravo drew attention for a string of error-prone displays that convinced City to sign Ederson but Guardiola intends to stand by the Chilean at Wembley.

“We are in the Carabao Cup Final thanks to him, so he is going to play. I cannot forget what happened against Wolves,” said the City manager.

“All the top clubs need two good keepers. You cannot survive with just one. He might be injured or suspended.”

Guardiola added: “I know it’s not easy but [Bravo] has been perfect and training good, because he knows he always has to be ready.”

Arsene Wenger could replicate Guardiola’s approach and name his own cup specialist, David Ospina, in goal when the two sides meet.

The Colombian, who has largely had to settle for cup competitions since Petr Cech’s arrival in the summer of 2015, has featured in every match in the tournament bar the fourth round win over Norwich he missed with injury.

Ospina saved a penalty in Thursday’s 3-0 Europa League win over Ostersund, becoming the first Arsenal goalkeeper to stop a spot-kick since Lukasz Fabianski against Bayern Munich in March 2014. Since joining Arsenal Cech has faced 15 penalties without making a save.