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Guardiola has plenty of decisions to make for Wembley.


Pep Guardiola has said Claudio Bravo will play on Sunday SIX weeks ago, Pep Guardiola's team selection for the Carabao Cup final would have been a cinch.

With Vincent Kompany injured, Aymeric Laporte still on the transfer wish-list, Fabian Delph flying - and Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane shoo-ins.

Now, as the Blues gear up for their Wembley date with Arsenal, only the right-back, striker and the three midfielders are clear.

Kyle Walker is assured of the right-back spot, despite his shocking gaffe at Wigan, while Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne, Fernandinho and David Silva are almost certain starters.

So what are Guardiola's selection dilemmas, and his options? | GOALKEEPER PEP Guardiola has already strongly hinted he will stick to his plan of playing Claudio Bravo in the cup competitions.

Kyle Walker of the spot, shocking at Stuart But it must have crossed his mind that this will be his first English final, and he needs his strongest team - which includes Ederson in goal.

Could he do a Roberto Mancini, who said Costel Pantilimon would play in 2013 and on the day of the final replaced him with Joe Hart? | LEFT-BACK THE suspension of Fabian Delph hands Guardiola a real problem, especially against a good attacking team like Arsenal.

He has preferred young Aleks Zinchenko recently, but only in games where City will spend 75 per cent of the game on the front foot.

In tougher games - like away trips to Liverpool, Cardiff and Burnley - he has gone for the greater security offered by Danilo.

It makes sense to go for the experience of the former Real Madrid man.

| CENTRE-BACKS JOHN Stones and Nicolas Otamendi looked like City's answer to Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol until the young England star picked up an injury.

He has struggled since then, while Vincent Kompany has re-emerged as a live contender, and now Aymeric Laporte has arrived to add another dimension.

The fact Guardiola went for the experience of Kompany and Otamendi in Basel is perhaps telling, but it really could be any two from four.

Stones has had a torrid time lately, and it may have come a touch too early for Laporte - but the other factor is that those two are City's quickest central defenders and would be best up against a mobile Arsenal attack.

is assured right-back despite his gaffe Wigan Brennan | FRONT THREE SERGIO Aguero is almost certain to start, although you can rule out nothing with Guardiola keen on the occasional left-field selection.

But Bernardo Silva's emergence, after a slow start to his City career, means the other two places in the front three are open. Guardiola pointedly praised Bernardo last week. But for a final, it's likely he will revert to the trio that has ripped it up all season with Sterling on the right and Sane on the left.

and his has strongly will his will English needs his team - which in goal. telling, but it any two from Stones torrid and come early - be best a mobile attack. || FRONT Sergio Aguero is Kyle Walker is assured of the right-back spot, despite his shocking gaffe at Wigan Stuart Brennan

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 22, 2018
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