According to a report in The Guardian, Manuel Pellegrini has decided to start Costel Pantilimon for the final of the Capital One Cup on Sunday against Sunderland at Wembley.
The move reflects the complete opposite of last season, when Roberto Mancini dropped Pantilimon in favor of Hart for the FA Cup final, despite the Romanian having played in every previous match of the competition. Manchester City ultimately lost that final to Wigan.
The report in The Guardian didn’t get Pantilimon to publicly bite on the news, quoting him as saying, “Only the manager can say this. We don’t know what the team is going to be.”
However, they still went as far as to report that Pantilimon is “set to be chosen” by Pellegrini on Sunday.
Dropped by Pellegrini earlier this season for nine matches across all competitions, Hart has reclaimed his place aside from the FA Cup, where the manager has stuck with Pantilimon.
Speaking about being dropped for the first time since the occurance in November, Hart told the BBC, “You have to be able to accept when you are playing or not,” and that he has to be “man enough to take it.”
Since Hart’s return from the bench at the end of 2013, Manchester City has dropped just five points out of a possible 30 in the Premier League.