Manchester City latest: Pellegrini warns against racism repeat; Hart benched again

Manuel Pellegrini

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that Joe Hart will continue on the bench for tomorrow’s Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow.

Hart was dropped – or rested – for the 7-0 victory over Norwich City, and Costel Pantilimon will continue between the sticks against the Russians.

I don’t know when Joe will come back to the team,” Pellegrini said. “We will see in the future what we must do.

It is very important for him to have a rest. He has played all the matches in the last two-and-a-half years.”

Pantilimon is likely to have more to do tomorrow evening than on Saturday, when the Canaries only managed a single shot on target.

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Speaking about the racist chants suffered by Yaya Toure during match-week three, Pellegrini warned CSKA’s fans to consider the reputation of Russian football as a whole.

I hope we can leave it in the past,” the Blues manager said in quotes published by Sky Sports. “The Russian fans should remember they have a World Cup coming up in their country.”

Toure and his teammates will no doubt take the opportunity tomorrow evening to do their talking on the pitch rather than off it.

And finally, Pablo Zabaleta has told the Manchester Evening News it is time for City to join the ranks of Europe’s elite and qualify for the knock-out stages of the Champions League.

It is time for this club to take a step forward,” the defender said. “If we can qualify for the next round, it will be great for this club.

Hopefully in the next few years we can be one of the top clubs in Europe.”

Completing the double over the Russian side will be another step in the right direction.

See also: Predicted Manchester City XI to play CSKA Moscow - one change from weekend win

image: © Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

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