Zack Steffen Will Start EFL Cup Final, Pep Guardiola Confirms

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When making your starting XI predictions for the EFL Cup final on Sunday, you can pencil one in for certain on the Manchester City side.

“He is going to play in the League Cup final, for sure,” City manager Pep Guardiola said of goalkeeper Zack Steffen. “Yeah, for sure.” Guardiola said earlier this week he would rather start his No. 2, and cup competition goalkeeper than lose the game than start his No. 1 Ederson and then “lose the team.”

If that sounds confusing, well that’s because it is, but what the Catalonian meant is that the 26-year-old American was told he would get to play in the semifinal, and Pep kept his word.

The former Maryland Terrapin and Columbus Crew member suffered his his first defeat at City, in any competition.

He won all 10 of his previous starts. He only surrendered the one goal, to Hakim Ziyech, but it was enough to make all the difference in the contest. Steffen was out of position on the game winning scoring strike, and he owned up to his mistake after the game.

“It’s a tough one,” Zack Steffen admitted.

“I think the boys did a good job, Chelsea are a tough team to play and their goal was indecision on my hands and I’ll learn from it. You have to keep going and I’m proud of how the boys fought and didn’t give up.

“The good thing is there is another game in three or four days so we can’t get too low on this one. We have to learn from it, come back together as a team and be ready for the next one.”

The loss ended City’s chances at accomplishing at unprecedented quadruple, a feat that Guardiola kept telling us was impossible to begin with.

Before the Cityzens reach the league cup finale though, they first must play another league fixture, on Wendesday night against Aston Villa. We’ll have preview material on that for you here shortly.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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