London – Sergio Aguero was drafted straight into Manchester City's starting XI to face Sunderland in the League Cup final at Wembley Stadium after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Aguero is City's top scorer this season with 26 goals in all competitions, but the Argentina striker has not played since injuring himself during City's 5-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur at the end of January.

He was partnered up front by Edin Dzeko, while in keeping with his previous selections in the competition, manager Manuel Pellegrini picked Costel Pantilimon instead of England international Joe Hart in goal.

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet made three changes to his starting XI, with Wes Brown returning from suspension at centre-back and Lee Cattermole and Sebastian Larsson also coming into the team.

Sunderland are making their first appearance in a major final since 1992 and are bidding to win their first piece of silverware since their shock victory over Leeds United in the final of the FA Cup in 1973.

City, two-time League Cup winners, are appearing in their third final in four seasons, although their last visit to Wembley saw them stunned 1-0 by Wigan Athletic in last season's FA Cup final. – Sapa-AFP