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Joe Hart beating injury ahead of Southampton's trip to Man City
10:01am Tuesday 14th August 2012 in Premier League
ROBERTO Mancini hopes that keeper Joe Hart will return from injury in time to face Saints on Sunday.
Hart missed Sunday’s 3-2 Community Shield victory over Chelsea with a back injury, and has also withdrawn from the England squad for tomorrow’s friendly against Italy in Switzerland.
“Joe Hart had a problem with his back,” he said. “I don’t think it’s serious. I hope he’ll be fit for Southampton .”
In Hart’s absence, Costel Pantilimon took his place at Wembley, with the Romanian international gifting Chelsea their second goal when he spilled a Daniel Sturridge shot, allowing Ryan Bertrand to pounce.
While Hart is a doubt, defender Micah Richards will definitely be absent.
The right back suffered an ankle injury on Olympic duty with Team GB and is now facing a significant lay-off.
“Micah we thought was a small injury, but instead it will be long,”
said Mancini. “It’s a big problem and he could be out for one month.”
City made their first signing of the summer at the weekend, bringing in Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell, and they are hoping to have two more new faces in place by the time Saints visit, as they chase Liverpool defender Daniel Agger and Swansea winger Scott Sinclair.
Mancini, like Adkins, is not only still trying to conduct business in the transfer market, he is also persevering with a new formation.
City have been playing with three at the back throughout the summer in a bid to provide them with more attacking options. That won’t exactly be music to Saints’ ears, given that their opponents this weekend managed to find the net 93 times in the Premier League last term – the best in the division.
“It’s my opinion that a good team should play different shapes,” said Mancini. “We tried it because we were without 10 or 12 players in pre-season and we wanted to play more offensively.”