Manchester City’s captain and defensive leader Vincent Kompany may well be out of the Manchester derby this weekend.
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Kompany, 29, suffered a hamstring injury during the second half of Monday’s 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace and the Belgian international will undergo a fitness test on Saturday to see if he can skipper the Citizens against Manchester United on Sunday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) at Old Trafford.
Manuel Pellegrini revealed Kompany’s fitness battle on Friday, as he also confirmed that strikers Stevan Jovetic and Wilfried Bony are out injured and will miss the massive derby against United.
“We will see tomorrow if he (Kompany) can play or not,” Pellegrini said. “It’s better with Kompany but if he can’t play, we have a squad.” He has not been able to train every day this week, so we will see on Saturday morning.”
Kompany’s form has been somewhat up and down since he returned from a previous hamstring issue in January, with the powerful center back criticized during City’s UEFA Champions League last 16 defeat to Barcelona and his laboring performances at center back have coincided with City losing three of their last five matches which has effectively ended any hopes they had of regaining their Premier League title.
If Kompany doesn’t recover in time, Eliaquim Mangala is set to replace him. The French center back has struggled to adjust to the pace of the PL in his debut season in England following his $45 million move from FC Porto, but has shown glimpses that he’s adapting to the higher tempo. The young defender may well have to put in a sterling display to stop a rampant United (six wins from their last seven PL matches) in the fiery cauldron of Old Trafford on Sunday.
With key players missing, mass speculation about Pellegrini’s future as manager and on a poor run of form, it’s safe to say things couldn’t be looking worse for City heading into this derby. That said, they have won their last four-straight matches against United and a win on Sunday would make it five on the spin. That’s something the Citizens have never achieved in their history, as they look to play the role of spoiler and jump ahead of United.