Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has revealed captain Vincent Kompany could be out for a further three weeks due to a calf strain sustained in City’s FA Cup victory at Stoke last week.
The captain will certainly miss his side’s crucial clash with Liverpool on Sunday, along with Southampton next weekend and potentially their FA Cup tie with Leeds.
Kompany is not only City’s captain but their most dominant force in their back four. Ordinarily Mancini would have a number of options to cover for the Belgian but, with the African Cup of Nations, both Kolo and Yaya Toure are also unavailable for selection.
This now leaves Mancini with Joleon Lescott as his most reliable centre-back who can partner up with either young Matija Nastasic or Javi Garcia in the middle of their back four.
That has to be a worrying situation for the manager – Nastasic is just 19 years of age and has been a little naïve as he adjusts to his first season in the Premier League and Garcia is a midfielder who, again in still adjusting to English football.
Liverpool, for starters, have plenty of firepower to take full advantage of the void left by Kompany in Mancini’s team. Both Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have been in sensational form and look to be a dangerous partnership up front for the Reds.
Mancini was spotted in the stand at the Emirates in midweek to watch Liverpool’s clash with Arsenal and, as the Gunners found out the hard way, Brendan Rodgers’ side is capable of punishing any defensive frailties.
Whilst Southampton are currently uncomfortably close to the relegation zone in 16th place on just 23 points, they are no push overs – as league leaders Manchester United found out in midweek. Even Sir Alex Ferguson admitted his side were ‘lucky to win’ the game 2-1 after going behind in the first half.
Mauricio Pochettino will be made well aware of City’s holes in defence and the Saints have enough quality up front to capitalize. Synonymously, City’s best chance of silverware this term is the FA Cup and Mancini will be hoping Kompany returns, as he is expected to in time for their clash with Leeds United.
Leeds are strong and are always a tough challenge for whoever draws them in the cups and it doesn’t even bare thinking about the potential for City to get knocked out. Nor does it bode well if Kompany suffers any kind of setback as City’s following game is against Chelsea.
Hosting the European champions without your captain and best defender is something Mancini will be hoping he doesn’t have to face. Even so, in the mean time, there are some serious causes for concern. They really do need Kompany back post haste.