• League Cup final

Aguero & Pantilimon start for City in final

ESPN staff
March 2, 2014
Sergio Aguero has been passed fit to face Sunderland in the League Cup final © Getty Images

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has sprung a surprise by selecting Costel Pantilimon ahead of Joe Hart in goal for the League Cup final against Sunderland, while Sergio Aguero has won his fitness battle and starts up front.

Pantilimon has played in each round bar one of the League Cup to date this season, and is yet to concede a goal in the tournament, but it had been expected that Hart - who has reclaimed his No.1 spot after some struggles this season - would be given the nod for the showpiece occasion at Wembley.

Aguero starts his first game since January 29, when he scored against Tottenham before aggravating a hamstring injury shortly before half-time.

Sunderland make three changes to the side dismantled 4-1 by Arsenal in the Premier League last weekend, with Sebastian Larsson, Wes Brown and Lee Cattermole recalled to the starting XI. Adam Johnson starts against his former club.

Manchester City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Nasri, Toure, Fernandinho, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko

Substitutes: Hart, Clichy, Lescott, Milner, Garcia, Navas, Negredo

Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, O'Shea, Brown, Alonso, Johnson, Cattermole, Colback, Ki, Larsson, Borini

Substitutes: Ustari, Gardner, Fletcher, Celustka, Giaccherini, Vergini, Scocco

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