Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola explains why Ederson is benched for Brighton clash

Backup Stefan Ortega was preferred for Saturday's match.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola explains why Ederson is benched for Brighton clash
Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson
The goalkeeper only returned to Manchester early on Thursday morning (Picture: Getty)

Pep Guardiola says goalkeeper Ederson has been given a ‘little rest’ after returning to Manchester City barely 48 hours ago following his involvement with Brazil.

The 30-year-old was picked to start in both of the Selecao’s World Cup qualifiers last week, playing in the 1-1 draw with Venezuela and the 2-0 defeat to Uruguay on Wednesday night.

Ederson flew straight back to the UK following that match but did not touch down back in Manchester until Thursday morning.

After two gruelling matches with Brazil and such a short turnaround to the Brighton match, Guardiola felt it was right to rest Ederson and start Stefan Ortega – who was not on international duty – instead.

Explaining his number one’s absence from the starting XI, Guardiola said: ‘He was in Brazil, he could have played but I think we decided to give him a little rest, that’s all.’

Champions City have lost their last two Premier League matches, against Wolves and Arsenal, and defeat against Brighton would make it three in a row for the first time since Manuel Pellegrini was in charge back in 2016.

Manchester City goalkeeper Stefan Ortega
Ortega was picked to start between the sticks (Picture: Getty)

Asked how his side can overcome the Seagulls and get back to winning ways, Guardiola added: ‘By having the ball, mainly, and when that happens the opponent has less chance to score.

‘But against Brighton it’s difficult because of the way they play, they monopolise the ball many times, and as well for the pressing they do.’

On the task facing Brighton, and the inclusion of ex-City veteran James Milner, Roberto De Zerbi said: ‘It’s the toughest game against City, they have the best coach in the world, but we’re here to compete, fight and try to win the game for sure.

‘We have a big respect for them but hopefully something can happen in 90 minutes.

‘James Milner is important for his experience but he’s still a big player for us, a very important one. We suffered with his injury, and now we can enjoy having him on the pitch.’

City’s injury crisis is starting to ease with Guardiola naming a very strong bench for the match, with the likes of Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake, Jack Grealish and Matheus Nunes all available to come on and impact the game.

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