After two games on the bench, Joe Hart will be back in between the pipes for Manchester City come Tuesday.
Willy Caballero started the past two games for City, two wins that saw the Citizens outscore their opponents 11-2. But manager Manuel Pellegrini is going back to Hart for their Champions League match against Roma midweek, a match that Pellegrini has called “crucial.”
“It’s a crucial game because Roma won their first match and we lost, so it’s important at home to win our first three points. It will be a very tough group and we cannot drop points here at home. It’s very important for us to win that game.”
While Hart has been Manchester City and England’s top goalkeeper over the past few seasons, the arrival of Caballero this summer put his starting position in question.
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Hart started the season as City’s starting goalkeeper, but Pellegrini made it clear he would have to fight to keep his place. Hart rested as Caballero started in Manchester City’s 7-0 League Cup win against Sheffield Wednesday.
However, Pellegrini surprised many when he stayed with his fellow Argentine Caballero for their Premier League match against Hull City. Caballero conceded two goals in City’s 4-2 win.
When asked about his decision, Pellegrini played down the competition aspect of the situation and said it was purely a rotational decision.
“I think for Willy it was good to play not just one game but to play two in a row. Joe played eight games in 32 days, a lot of games for a goalkeeper. I have a squad of 22, 23 players and I make rotations because I think it is better for the team.”
Pellegrini and Caballero have history when both were at Malaga, which adds an intriguing twist to the situation. Whether Pellegrini chooses Caballero or Hart for any match, City fans shouldn’t worry. It just goes to show how deep this team is, at every position.