Man City v Viktoria Plzen: Pellegrini recalls Hart for Europe

Joe Hart Manchester City goalkeeper

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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed goalkeeper Joe Hart will return to the starting line up against Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday.

Hart has been forced to watch on from the sidelines after being replaced by Costel Pantilimon for the Premier League clash against Norwich at the start of the month.

Pellegrini insisted he was in ‘need of a rest’ following some below-par performances and Pantilimon has not put a foot wrong since.

But City have already qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League and Pellegrini says the 26-year-old will figure.

“Joe Hart will play on Wednesday,” Pellegrini said.

Hart came in for heavy criticism following high-profile errors against Bayern Munich in the Champions League last month and most notably against Chelsea when a last-minute howler allowed Fernando Torres to snatch the winner.

However, Hart showed glimpses that he is getting back to his best when he impressed in England’s friendly against Germany last week.

England may have lost the game 1-0 but Hart pulled off fine saves to deny Marco Reus and Mario Gotze in the second half to keep the scoreline down.

The 26-year-old now has a chance to shine against Plzen but all eyes will be on the weekend to see whether Pantilimon is restored against Swansea on Sunday.

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