The captain is back to help steady the shaky defence.
Manchester City were given a timely boost on Friday when it was confirmed that captain Vincent Kompany is set to return for Sunday’s vital fixture at home to second-placed Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini was hopeful that the defender could start but he said would have to assess Kompany’s condition over the weekend:
“We’ll see what the starting XI is on Saturday
“We’re not just thinking about one player and one game, we’re involved in a lot of competitions.”
Kompany’s return can’t some soon enough, as Pellegrini’s side have slipped to fourth in the Premier League table, not to mention the fact that they will be involved in FA Cup, Champions League and Capital One Cup action all towards the end of February.
It’s fair to say that they have missed Kompany massively in the past couple of months, helpfully outlined in visual form in the stats graphic below:
— Tet (@indraatet) January 27, 2016
The statistics above indicate that, domestically at least, Man City fare much better when Kompany plays.
(It should be pointed out too that they have since played two league games, the 1-0 win at Sunderland and last weekend’s 3-1 home defeat to Leicester, meaning the overall win percentage is only affected marginally.)
In his absence, Nicolás Otamendi, Eliaquim Mangala and Martín Demichelis, while not necessarily being massive hindrances (last weekend aside), haven’t been oozing confidence either; having their leader next to them in defence can only be a positive thing heading into such a massive part of the campaign.
Whether he can stay fit is another story but, for now at least, he returns to the heart of the defence.
In other positive news, midfielder David Silva has also been passed fit to play this weekend. There were reports this week that the Spanish international was struggling with an ankle injury, but he has apparently recovered in time for what is probably now the biggest match in Man City’s league season. Another defeat would put them in a precarious position as we speed towards the home stretch.
No such luck for Bacary Sagna and Fabian Delph, however – both will miss out through injury.