Man City’s found themselves plunged into a keeper crisis when Ederson was hauled off at half-time as a precautionary measure against Atalanta and Claudio Bravo got his marching orders.
Kyle Walker was stuck been the sticks – and actually made a save, unlike the two proper goalies who’d preceded him.
Losing their sweeping Brazilian stopper is not the ideal build-up to Sunday’s Anfield assault.
It’s not known yet if he will definitely miss the game and market prices have not moved yet off the back of last night’s developments.
If Ederson was to be ruled out then it would make a big difference and we would see Liverpool go off favourites for this game, provided the teams line-up as otherwise expected.
Should City start without their first-choice keeper, we’d expect to see Liverpool shorten from the 13/8 that’s available on the market generally to around 6/4. The adjustment is on a par with Kevin De Bruyne missing the game and probably more significant than Raheem Sterling sitting it out.
That’s because it’s all about rating the difference in terms of the player missing and his replacement.
As good as City are, the gap between De Bruyne and any replacement is the same as Ederson being replaced by Bravo. Sterling, on the other hand, could still be replaced by Riyad Mahrez or Bernardo Silva, so the jump down in quality is not as great, even though he’s exceptional and has produced Messi-like numbers this season.
The City shot-stopper also does not generally miss many league games – playing in 86 out of 87 since coming to the club – so, when he is missing, the disruption is larger than if they were chopping and changing regularly. Also, there’s no historical reference point to see how markets react when he is missing, which makes it harder to judge.
The opponent matters too. Losing creative players like Sterling or De Bruyne would be more meaningful than Ederson for a home game against Burnley where they’ll be needed to unlock a defensive side.
Pep could probably play Kyle Walker, or even me – I’ve got my own gloves! – in goal against most Premier League teams and there’d be a chance we’d keep a clean sheet because of City’s monopoly on possession.
But whoever is his number one on Sunday will be tested by Liverpool’s fab front three, plus Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s probing crosses.
It’s also worth noting that Bravo is particularly poor on crosses, and was even before coming to England, so that’s another reason why Ederson’s loss for this game in particular matters.
In terms of the title race, the fact his absence would move the match price means the title prices would move too and I’d have Liverpool move from 8/11 to 4/6 for the title…
Barring any slip-ups, it’s definitely going to be their year!