Kompany faces battle to be fit for Manchester derby

The Etihad Stadium skipper will be out for three weeks with a groin strain, with a return in time to face United on September 22 the target.

Despite the impressive nature of Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Newcastle on Monday night, the Premier League title hopefuls suffered a significant injury blow.

Captain and talisman Vincent Kompany has a groin strain and is now expected to be sidelined for around three weeks. With Matija Nastasic already on the treatment table, Manuel Pellegrini’s options in the heart of his rearguard are now few and far between.

City’s next three games in the Premier League are against Cardiff, Hull and Stoke, before they entertain their cross-town rivals United at the Etihad Stadium on September 22. Pellegrini’s men may well be able to get by without Kompany until then, but will pray that the Belgium international is back in time for the derby clash.

With first-choice duo Nastasic and Kompany out of action, a partner for Joleon Lescott is needed. Micah Richards is still injured and not expected to return to the fold for a couple of weeks, which leaves Dedryck Boyata as the only out-and-out central defender available.

Boyata has failed to live up to his potential in recent seasons, and is at nowhere near the same level as his countryman Kompany. Loan spells at FC Twente and Bolton have given the 22-year-old first-team opportunities, but chances in the City senior side have been few and far between.

The other option that Pellegrini may look at is dropping Javi Garcia or Gareth Barry back into his defence. The Spaniard has played centre-half in the past on occasion for previous club Benfica, but neither you would ever categorise as a defender.

The fact that City need a stop-gap in their defence should be used as motivation for their upcoming opponents. Newly promoted Cardiff and Hull will always have a job on their hands to get anything against a team of City’s quality, but the new boys will take some solace in the fact that they can attack a weak link in their opponents’ rearguard.

The Britannia Stadium is no easy place to go to, and Stoke will look to make City very uncomfortable on their visit. The direct approach that that the Potters have became famed for is difficult to deal with when you have your full defence, nevermind a scratch one, and Peter Crouch will be rubbing his hands in anticipation of the clash.

The full extent of Kompany’s injury and his period on the sidelines could be more or less than the diagnosed three weeks, however should the Belgian miss the clash against United on September 22 it could be an early season blow in City’s quest for honours.

image: © pigpilot

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