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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini insists he has decided on his goalkeeper for Sunday’s Capital One Cup final but he refused to reveal who will start at Wembley.
City’s No.1 Joe Hart may miss out in the showpiece clash against Sunderland as backup keeper Costel Pantilimon has usually started in the domestic cup ties.
The England international has had a turbulent season so far, losing his place in November after several errors. Hart returned to the first-team at the end of 2013, but Pellegrini has an important decision to make as he looks to win the first of what could be four trophies this season.
When asked about his keeper selection in his pre-match press conference, Pellegrini said: “I have already made my decision but unfortunately you cannot know it until Sunday.”
The Chilean will also have to make several key decisions further up the field, with Sergio Aguero back in training. The striker has missed the last five games through injury but is closing in on a return, although he may have to settle for a place on the bench.
Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko have done well in Aguero’s absence and Pellegrini will wait until Sunday before deciding on Aguero’s fitness.
He said: “Of course it is very important for the team to have Sergio again with us because he is a very important player.
“We must see if he is 100 per cent to play the whole match.”
Pellegrini will also be without Matija Nastasic and Stevan Jovetic due to injury, but the Citizens remain strong favourites to win at 1.31, with the Black Cats 8.17 to lift the trophy.