• Premier League

Hart dropped, Kompany missing for next three games

ESPN staff
November 1, 2013
Joe Hart was at fault for the defeat to Chelsea © Getty Images

Joe Hart has been dropped for Manchester City's match against Norwich City on Saturday, a source has told ESPN FC.

Hart was rested for Wednesday's 2-0 Capital One Cup win over Newcastle - a game in which his replacement Costel Pantilimon kept a clean sheet.

And City manager Manuel Pellegrini is set to keep faith in Pantilimon and give him his Premier League debut in the weekend's clash at the Etihad Stadium, a source claims.

Hart, who has not been omitted for a league game since replacing Shay Given as City's first choice in 2010, was told on Friday that he is to be left out of the team, while Pantilimon has trained behind the first-choice defence in the build-up to the game.

The England international has been under pressure after making a series of high-profile mistakes this season, and Pellegrini has not publicly backed him since his last-minute error allowed Chelsea's Fernando Torres to score the winner against City on Sunday.

The City boss admitted he considered omitting Hart for the 3-1 win against Everton on Oct. 5, which came three days after he was at fault for two goals in the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.

Pellegrini, however, refused to confirm his team selection at his Friday pre-match news conference, but did concede that he faces a difficult choice between his two goalkeepers for Saturday's game.

"Tomorrow [Saturday] you will know," Pellegrini said. "It is a decision I have to take every week with the 22 players."

Dealing with Hart without denting his confidence is a test for Pellegrini's man-management skills, and he added: "I am very careful with all the players, not only Joe."

Pellegrini then went on to reflect on Hart's error at Stamford Bridge, stating: "I can't say for him how disappointed [he was]. All of you and the players and me saw what happened but he is a football player and every week he is under the same pressure."

Meanwhile, captain Vincent Kompany will be missing for at least three more games.

"Vincent Kompany is not fit," he said. "He is progressing but I think he has at least one or two [weeks out]. After the international break maybe he will be fit and I think that before that is difficult."

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