Hart likely to miss trip to Newcastle
Goalkeeper Joe Hart is expected to sit out as Manchester City travel to Newcastle in the Capital One Cup tonight. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Under-fire goalkeeper Joe Hart is expected to sit out as Manchester City travel to Newcastle in the Capital One Cup tonight.
The England international is under yet more scrutiny after a mix-up between himself and defender Matija Nastasic led to Chelsea’s late winner in Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.
It would not be unusual in itself if Hart were to be replaced by Pantilimon for the fourth-round tie at St James’ Park, as the Romanian has often been preferred for cup fixtures in the past two seasons.
But given the increased speculation over Hart’s position, the match could give him the opportunity to stake a claim for a regular place.
Pantilimon, also 26, has not played in the Premier League since joining City from Timisoara in the summer of 2011 as replacement for Shay Given. City’s task at Newcastle will be to start rebuilding momentum after the last-gasp loss on Sunday.
Striker Stevan Jovetic, who scored twice against Wigan in round three but has not started since, is likely to get another opportunity.
Exciting Portuguese youngster Marcos Lopes, who shone against Wigan, will not feature after tweeting that he had suffered an injury on the eve of the game.
Tottenham v Hull
At the other fixture tonight, Tottenham return to Hull return to White Hart Lane.
Erik Lamela has struggled to impress since his £30million move from Roma, but he will get another chance to make an impression.
Gylfi Sigurdsson and Nacer Chadli are expected to get a run out while Brad Friedel is likely to replace Hugo Lloris in goal.
Villas-Boas also has a selection dilemma up front. Jermain Defoe has scored eight goals in the cup competitions this term, but Roberto Soldado is short of goals from open play and could start.
Another intriguing idea would be starting with Emmanuel Adebayor alongside Defoe.