• Premier League

Hart not at risk - Pellegrini

ESPN staff
December 30, 2013
City continue to impress

Manuel Pellegrini has allayed fears that Joe Hart will be forced to miss Manchester City's New Year's Day clash at Swansea and insisted it is not a risk to pick the goalkeeper.

City will be without four injured players and the suspended David Silva when they travel to the Liberty Stadium but manager Pellegrini believes that Sergio Aguero will be back before the end of the month.

The striker, who suffered a calf strain in the 6-3 win over Arsenal on December 14, was ruled out for between four and eight weeks but Pellegrini said he is recovering well and does not expect his top scorer to spend two months on the sidelines.

He will be without two strikers and two defenders at Swansea with Stevan Jovetic joining Aguero on the injured list and both Martin Demichelis and Micah Richards ruled out.

But Hart, who required five stitches in his face after a clash with Crystal Palace's Cameron Jerome and was left nursing a black eye, has been passed fit to start.

Pellegrini said: "Joe Hart has a cut beneath his eye but [it is] nothing important. It is not dangerous and he can play without any risk.

"Martin Demichelis, Jovetic, Aguero and Micah Richards are the four players that are not fit. Sergio is recovering from his calf injury. I suppose in January he will be OK."

Silva picked up his fifth caution of the season in Saturday's 1-0 win against Palace and Pellegrini is preparing to make changes.

Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure did not feature against Palace while Samir Nasri and Alvaro Negredo were only deployed as substitutes as Pellegrini tried to prevent his squad from becoming fatigued.

He said he had to be particularly careful with right-back Zabaleta, who returned from a hamstring injury to play the full 90 minutes in the Boxing Day win over Liverpool.

Pellegrini added: "Pablo played against Liverpool at the limit. It was a risk for him to play two games in 44 hours. Yaya Toure and Negredo were a little tired and will be fresh."

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