Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur: Vincent Kompany's return a boost to City’s flagging challenge

Playmaker David Silva has shaken off the ankle problem that forced him off early in last week’s defeat to leaders Leicester but midfielder Fabian Delph and right-back Bacary Sagna face spells out

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is ready to return to bolster his team’s title challenge having been badly missed this season because of prolonged periods on the sidelines with recurring calf injuries.

Kompany, 29, has played just nine minutes in City’s last 20 games in all competitions – an abortive comeback against Sunderland on Boxing Day. He has now been declared fit for tomorrow’s crunch Premier League clash against title rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium, a match City can  ill-afford to lose after slipping to fourth in the table.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “Vincent is coming back from a long injury. He is a very important player for our team.I think that you have seen Kompany playing so many years here that I don’t have to say what Kompany brings to the team, but he is one of the best defenders in the league and he is the captain of the team.

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Pellegrini said: “Bacary has a problem in his knee, so he had an injection. He needs one week at least to return to work."

“I think that every player that will play the game must be 100 per cent and Vincent has been working the last three weeks without any problems. He played 45 minutes in a friendly with the under-21s so I think that he is ready now to play.”

Statistics underline Kompany’s importance to the team. Of the nine Premier League games in which he has featured this season, City have won seven and drawn two; they have lost six of their 16 without him.

But while his return is a huge positive, it has been a mixed week of injury news for City. Playmaker David Silva has shaken off the ankle problem that forced him off early in last week’s defeat to leaders Leicester but midfielder Fabian Delph and right-back Bacary Sagna face spells out.

Pellegrini said: “Bacary has a problem in his knee, so he had an injection. He needs one week at least to return to work. Fabian Delph has a problem with his Achilles tendon. He needs six or seven weeks to recover.”

They join a lengthy injury list which already includes Eliaquim Mangala, Kevin de Bruyne, Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas and Wilfried Bony.

Pellegrini said: “It is difficult when you have so many players injured and in the same position. Unfortunately it is part of the season and we must try and manage with the players that we have.”

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