Saturday 20 January 2018

Hart to get Champions League recall

Mark Ogden

Joe Hart will end his five-game spell on the substitutes' bench by returning to the Manchester City team for their Champions League match against Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday.

Hart, dropped by manager Manuel Pellegrini last month after a costly mistake in the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea, was again overlooked in favour of Romanian understudy Costel Pantilimon for the 6-0 victory at home against Tottenham Hotspur yesterday.

But with City assured of qualification for the Champions League knock-out stages, Pellegrini confirmed that Hart would return against Czech champions Plzen. "Joe Hart will play on Wednesday," he said. "You can stop worrying now."

The Chilean did not go say whether the England goalkeeper (left) would retain his place against Swansea City at the weekend, but despite the margin of City's win, Pantilimon did endure some unconvincing moments on the rare occasions that Spurs attacked the City goal.

Meanwhile, Pellegrini hailed Sergio Aguero as the third-best player in the world after the Argentinian and Alvaro Negredo took their partnership tally to 25 goals so far this season.

"Negredo is the perfect player for the Premier League," Pellegrini said. "He is a very important player and very happy here in England. He plays alongside Kun Aguero, who is behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at the moment." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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