Hart on the bench for Sunderland game

Hart on the bench for Sunderland game

Joe Hart has been left sitting on the bench once more as Manchester City attempt to close the gap on the Barclays Premier League pace-setters at Sunderland.

Costel Pantilimon retained his place in goal with Manuel Pellegrini making five changes to the side which beat CSKA Moscow 5-2 in midweek.

Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards, Aleksander Kolarov, Javier Garcia and James Milner replace Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta and injured trio Matija Nastasic, Fernandinho and David Silva.

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet kept faith with nine of the men who booked a Capital One Cup quarter-final place in midweek as Sebastian Larsson and Steven Fletcher returned at the expense of Craig Gardner and Jozy Altidore.

Sunderland: Mannone, Celustka, Brown, O’Shea, Bardsley, Ki, Johnson, Larsson, Colback, Giaccherini, Fletcher.

Subs: Cabral, Gardner, Altidore, Westwood, Diakite, Borini, Mavrias.

Man City: Pantilimon, Richards, Demichelis, Lescott, Kolarov, Milner, Javi Garcia, Toure, Nasri, Aguero, Negredo.

Subs: Hart, Zabaleta, Dzeko, Jesus Navas, Rodwell, Clichy, Boyata.

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

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