Pellegrini says Joe Hart will start midweek

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Following Manchester City’s demolition of Tottenham Hotspur, Manuel Pellegrini had an important announcement to make.

“Joe Hart will play on Wednesday. You can stop worrying.”

On Wednesday the Citizens take on Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League, and their embattled goalkeeper will be back between the sticks.

Hart has featured just once since being benched by Pellegrini on October 30 – for England in their recent 1-0 friendly loss to Germany.

He’s ridden the pine for four of City’s matches since, and one England international game as well.

Nothing has yet been said about Manchester City’s next Premier League matchup against Swansea City on December 1.  It would be fair to assume that normally a match like the one Wednesday would be akin to a backup’s role, meaning it’s no guarantee Hart is back in his full-time job.

Costel Pantilimon has filled in for Hart in the 26-year-old’s absence, and while he hasn’t put a foot wrong in that time, he admittedly hasn’t had much to do.

The Romanian fill-in has been the benefactor of 14 goals in the four games he’s played during this spell, while conceding just three.

“Super computer” predicts final Premier League standings

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With eight games gone and 30 to go in the Premier League, now is the time that those preseason predictions start to get revised and new knee-jerk picks are made.

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Stats.com have run the numbers through their “super computer” — how big is this thing? To me, it’s the size of several rooms… — and the intriguing table will surprise many.

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Manchester City will win the title, pipping Arsenal to the crown, while Manchester United will finish in third and Chelsea will recover to finish fourth. At the bottom, only Bournemouth will be relegated out of the newly promoted teams, while it is looking bleak for Sunderland and Aston Villa.

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Do you agree with the findings of Stats.com?

Click on this link via talkSPORT to see the points tally for each team, as it promises to be a tight race for the title and against relegation.

Predicted final Premier League table

1- Manchester City
2- Arsenal
3 – Manchester United
4- Chelsea
5- Liverpool
6- Tottenham Hotspur
7- Everton
8- Southampton
9- Crystal Palace
10- West Ham United
11- Swansea City
12- Stoke City
13- Leicester City
14 – West Bromwich Albion
15- Newcastle United
16- Norwich City
17- Watford
18- Bournemouth
19- Aston Villa
20- Sunderland

After defying quit calls, Blatter mediates between FAs

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ZURICH (AP) After defying pleas from FIFA sponsors to quit immediately, President Sepp Blatter is continuing regular business at soccer’s governing body, presiding over a dispute between football federations on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Chung to sue Blatter for $100 million ]

Palestinian Football Union president Jibril Rajoub told The Associated Press: “Blatter is functioning well and in a good mood with common sense, a sense of humor.”

According to Rajoub, Blatter ruled at Tuesday’s meeting with Saudi Arabia’s federation that a decision to force the Palestinians to play a World Cup qualifier at a neutral venue was “invalid.”

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FIFA’s World Cup committee initially ordered the Oct. 13 game to be relocated from the West Bank to neighboring Jordan after the first leg was played in Riyadh.

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Rajoub says FIFA has now agreed to postpone the fixture until a resolution is found.