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Guardiola expects Ederson & Jesus to play for Man City against Leicester amid Brazil ban request

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The Catalan coach admits the situation is unclear with FIFA amid fears that as many as eight Premier League players will be barred from playing

Pep Guardiola is expecting to be able to play Ederson and Gabriel Jesus in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Leicester City although he says the situation over their availability remains unclear.

City were among five Premier League clubs that stopped their players travelling to red-list countries in South America, but the Brazilian FA has since responded by imposing a restriction on playing five days after the international window.

Back-up keeper Zack Steffen, meanwhile, is ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19 meaning Guardiola could be forced to field third-choice Scott Carson, who has played just one Premier League in the last 11 years.

What’s been said?

“Right now at 1.35pm it isn’t clear. Hopefully they (Ederson and Jesus) can play. We’ll wait and see if there is good news,” Guardiola told a news conference.

“Hopefully they can play. We will wait and see tomorrow if there is some news but we are going to have to wait until tomorrow to see if they can play or not.

“I don’t understand the situation for the fact I don’t know what we have to do. It’s an honour when our players go to their national teams to play for the country where they were born.

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“We allowed all the players to play, from Liverpool and United and Arsenal and Chelsea. They had to travel but they are not allowed because they had to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel. It’s difficult to understand, that’s why we’ll wait for a statement from FIFA.”

Asked whether they were likely to play, he added: “We are going to wait until tomorrow. Right now I think they are going to play because I don’t have other instructions.”

Why are Brazilian players banned?

Premier League clubs decided unanimously to stop players from appearing for their country in the latest round of international fixtures, if it meant travel to a red-list country, which would require a 10-day period of quarantine upon their return.

The Brazilian FA hit back by imposing the ‘five-day’ rule barring them from playing but the Premier League is still hoping for a resolution for the ban which will also see Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Leeds United lose players.

FIFA, who are understood to be uneasy with the ongoing row, unsuccessfully lobbied the UK government to allow quarantine exemptions for players returning from international duty.

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