Pep Guardiola intends to choose his goalkeeper for the rest of the season on a match-to-match basis, rotating Claudio Bravo and Willy Caballero depending on the opposition faced.
A few weeks ago the Manchester City manager appeared to have made Caballero his regular starting goalkeeper after a succession of weak performances by Bravo. Last weekend against Hull the Chilean got his place back but was not an unqualified success, failing to deal with the only shot he faced late in the 3-1 victory. Guardiola claims he has not yet decided who will play in goal at Southampton on Saturday, saying he will make up his mind on the day of the game.
“I want both goalkeepers to be involved – I have confidence in both of them,” he said. “Last week I decided for Claudio, but from now to the end of the season I will make up my mind for each game depending on the way our opponents play, whether they use a high pressing game for example.”
Southampton held City to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad in October. Guardiola blamed those lost points on a hangover after the 4-0 defeat in Barcelona, though admitted he had been impressed by Claude Puel’s side. “They have a good manager and some exceptional players,” he said. “All of them are quality.”
City have no new injury problems and Vincent Kompany may be back to face Southampton after missing the game against Hull. The City captain made his comeback after a two-month absence in the previous game against Chelsea, but was left out for the next game as a precaution.
“There is no problem with Vincent playing two games in a week but because he had been out for so long we didn’t want to take a risk,” Guardiola said. “Hopefully he will be playing regularly quite soon but there was a slight reaction after the Chelsea game, a small problem in the leg, so we thought it best not to rush things. The good thing is that he was able to play 90 minutes in a tough game at a high level. From what I have seen in the last few days he is ready for the next game.”