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Rodwell up for the cup

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30 Oct 2013 10:31:52

Rodwell up for the cup

Manchester City travel to Newcastle looking to rediscover their winning touch and claim a place in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals.

City's hopes of building momentum after a mixed start to the campaign suffered a fresh setback as they slipped to a last-gasp defeat at Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini is expected to make a number of changes with Premier League and Champions League games in mind but midfielder Jack Rodwell wants to ensure intensity remains high.

Rodwell, who himself hopes to feature after overcoming the latest in a series of hamstring problems, told City TV: "We want to win as many games as possible.

"Obviously the Champions League and Premier League are the biggies and obviously if you could win any it would be one of those two.

"But you also have the FA Cup, which is important to fans and us players - we all want to win that - and obviously we just came up a bit short last year.

"Then you have got the Capital One Cup, which is a good competition as well. We want to be fighting in every competition."

Under-fire goalkeeper Joe Hart is expected to be one of the players to make way.

The England international is under yet more scrutiny after a mix-up between himself and defender Matija Nastasic led to Chelsea's late winner at the weekend.

It was the latest of a catalogue of errors to have blighted the 26-year-old's performances for club and country over the past year.

It would not itself be unusual if Hart were to be replaced by Costel 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 - after previous mistakes against Scotland, Cardiff, Aston Villa and Bayern Munich this season - the match could give Pantilimon the opportunity to stake a claim for a regular place.

Other players are also likely to come in for what will be City's fourth away game in the space of 12 days.

Striker Stevan Jovetic, who scored twice against Wigan in round three but has not started since, is likely to get another opportunity.

English trio Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott and James Milner are also prime candidates to play.

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.

He tweeted: "Injured :-/ Nothing too serious but as all injuries: #badtiming. Be back soon.."

Captain Vincent Kompany, who has missed the last three games with a groin injury, remains a fitness doubt but fellow defender Martin Demichelis could continue after his debut against Chelsea.

Midfielder Yaya Toure may be excused after appearing in Nairobi to support a United Nations campaign to combat the illegal ivory trade on Tuesday.


PA

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