Champions League

Pellegrini: No Hart for City

2013-11-04 18:00
Joe Hart (Getty Images)

Manchester - England goalkeeper Joe Hart will remain on the bench for Manchester City's Champions League group match against CSKA Moscow at Eastlands on Tuesday, Blues' manager Manuel Pellegrini said Monday.

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Hart, following several high-profile errors this season, was replaced by Costel Pantilimon for Saturday's 7-0 Premier League home rout of Norwich.

And Chilean boss Pellegrini has decided the 26-year-old needs more than one game out of the firing line.

"I don't know when Joe will come back to the team," Pellegrini said.

"It is very important for him to have a rest. He has played all the matches in the last two-and-a-half years.

"We will see in the future what we must do. For today, Pantilimon is playing."

City will also be without Stevan Jovetic for the match against CSKA after the Montenegro striker was substituted after just 10 minutes of last week's League Cup tie against Newcastle with a calf problem.

Meanwhile City captain Vincent Kompany continues to be sidelined by a longstanding groin problem.

"Jovetic has at least three weeks (out). Except Vincent Kompany and Richard Wright, all the other players are fit," Pellegrini said.

The manager said concerns over striker Alvaro Negredo's fitness were misplaced, explaining the Spaniard was substituted early against Norwich solely because of feeling the effects of playing extra time at Newcastle.

"Alvaro is okay, he doesn't have any problem. He just played 45 minutes because he played 115 minutes three days before," Pellegrini said.

A City victory against CSKA in their fourth Group D match would all but guarantee a place in the knockout stage of the competition.

City's 2-1 win over CSKA in Moscow last month was overshadowed by the racist abuse directed at City star Yaya Toure by home fans.

The Ivory Coast international described as "unbelievable and very, very sad" the monkey chants reportedly directed at him by CSKA supporters during the game in the Russian capital.

European football governing body UEFA responded by ordering a partial stadium ban, specifically the closure of Sector D of CSKA's Khimki Arena, for the Russian club's next home Champions League tie against title-holders Bayern Munich on November 27.

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