Hart named for Europe clash
Roberto Mancini will keep Joe Hart between the sticks for Manchester City's Europa League encounter.
Last Updated: 18/08/10 2:31pm
Roberto Mancini will keep goalkeeper Joe Hart between the sticks for Manchester City's Europa League clash on Thursday.
However, the City boss will be without new signings Aleksandar Kolarov and Jerome Boateng for the first leg of the play-off tie against FC Timisoara, with both defenders sidelined due to injury.
Mancini is set to make some changes for Thursday's clash, but has confirmed England shot-stopper Hart will remain in goal following his stellar performance during City's 0-0 draw at Tottenham on Saturday.
Hart's inclusion means Republic of Ireland keeper Shay Given will again find himself on the bench, fuelling speculation that the reported Arsenal and Fulham target is set for an Eastlands exit.
"Joe Hart will play. I had a very difficult choice to make before the Spurs game because I have two world-class goalkeepers. It is difficult for one of them to sit on the bench," Mancini told City's official website.
"I respect Shay Given a lot. He is a good man and I want him to stay, but I also understand any decision he might make."
Germany stopper Boateng, who joined City from Hamburg this summer, has a deep cut on the inside of his knee and is facing at least another week on the sidelines.
The 21-year-old could return to play some part in the second leg against Timisoara, but is more likely to make his comeback in Premier League action at Sunderland on Sunday 29th August.
Former Lazio man Kolarov is suffering with a more serious injury, having damaged ankle ligaments at White Hart Lane.
Mancini is looking to make minor changes to the squad that faced Spurs, but was pleased with his side's opening Premier League display.
"I will make maybe two or three changes but we have the players that allow me to do that," said Mancini.
"I was pleased with the spirit and the fight at Tottenham. They are a good side that has been together for a long period of time.
"They were very good in the first half but we played well in the second and had 61% of possession. To dominate the ball like we did was excellent."
Mancini's primary selection headache is at left-back, where in addition to Kolarov, Wayne Bridge is also out with a broken bone in his foot.
Republic of Ireland international Greg Cunningham, who penned a new deal at Eastlands this week, will be in contention for the spot, while Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott have also occupied that position in the past.
Mario Balotelli, who joined City from Inter Milan this week, could make an early debut up front.
City squad to face FC Timisoara (from): Hart, Given, Richards, Zabaleta, Lescott, K Toure, Kompany, Wright-Phillips, Johnson, Barry, Silva, Vieira, De Jong, Y Toure, Tevez, Adebayor, Robinho, Santa Cruz, Balotelli, Jo, Cunningham, Logan.