Vincent Kompany gives Manchester City fitness boost ahead of Champions League opener
Good news for fans of the Citizens.
Captain Vincent Kompany could be in line to return to the backline for their Champions League Group D opener in the Czech Republic against Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday.
The towering Belgian defender injured his groin during City’s Premier League opener against Newcastle back on August 20, and hasn’t featured since. But boss Manuel Pellegrini will be delighted to see the powerful defender traveling with this squad following a few inept displays from Man City’s makeshift defense, that has included midfielder Javi Garcia playing in the central defensive role with Matija Nastasic also out injured for the first few games.
Kompany, 27, has been a mainstay at the back for five seasons and his presence in marshaling and leading City’s defensive unit has been sorely missed following an away defeat to Cardiff City and a shaky home win against Hull City already this campaign.
City shutout Stoke at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, but they were outplayed and could have easily lost the game after the Potters generated plenty of scoring opportunities. Kompany back at the heart of City’s defense should see things go back to normal.
Last season despite finishing second and 11 points behind United in the race for the PL title, City easily had the best defense in the league after they conceded just 34 times in 38 games. They have three clean sheets from four games this PL season, two of them without Kompany, but they haven’t looked quite as stable as they usually do with the big Belgian at the back.
It remains to be seen whether or not Kompany will start in their Champions League game against Plzen on Tuesday evening, however it would seem like a pretty strange decision to take a recovering player on a flight to Eastern Europe just to make him sit on the bench or watch from the stand. In my eyes, Kompany will make his return.
And after Champions League failure in the last two years, City were knocked out of the group stage on both occasions, Kompany’s ability to spur on his teammates to European success is undervalued. Pellegrini will need his skipper on Tuesday in the Czech Republic.
As City’s fans know only too well, no game in the Champions League is ever easy... Even though they’re expected to win big.