Vincent Kompany Provides Manuel Pellegrini with a Boost Ahead of Chelsea Test
According to the Manchester Evening News, City captain Vincent Kompany will return to the squad for this weekend’s fixture with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. After sustaining a thigh injury in the 3-1 home win against Everton before the international break, the defender has once again made a swift return.
Pellegrini is quoted as saying:
Now we will start thinking about the next match against Chelsea. It’s a very tough game, but we don’t have any problems with the squad.
Vincent Kompany and all of the other players are fit, so we are in a good shape.
There could hardly be better news for City.
This is undoubtedly Pellegrini’s toughest league game yet. Some may argue the derby was a more difficult obstacle given the fervor surrounding that particular fixture, but it’s clear United are struggling to play their best football so far this season. Much like City, Chelsea are just beginning to hit their best form, and look like genuine title contenders.
With Oscar playing some breathtaking football, they have one of the best young attacking midfielders in world football, and Jose Mourinho’s vision of how he wants his Chelsea side to play is coming to fruition.
Since the international break, City have enjoyed two away wins, but both were blighted by some indecisive defending. Wednesday’s match in Moscow—which saw City beat CSKA 2-1—should have been more comfortable, but with Javi Garcia—a makeshift centre-half who lacks pace—struggling to impose himself, it left City vulnerable. Indeed, they were nearly caught out a few times towards the end of the game.
When Kompany plays, it’s a different story. He organises the defence superbly, bringing the best out of those around him, particularly Matija Nastasic, a player with endless potential but who still needs guidance due to his relative inexperience.
It's not an exaggeration to say City look a different side with Kompany at the back. They're more solid, disciplined and proactive defensively, which gives the rest of the team confidence. He plays a huge role.
Any side in the world would miss Kompany—he's one of the best defenders in Europe—but City do appear to be disproportionately affected by his absence. During City's title-winning season in 2011/12, United went without Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand for large parts of the season and coped far better than City do without Kompany. It's becoming a worry, especially as Kompany is now justifiably bracketed as injury-prone.
For now, though, City are boosted. Their captain and leader is back just in time for their biggest test of this Premier League season so far.
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