Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is set for an earlier-than-expected return to action, according to City boss Manuel Pellegrini.
“I don’t think Vincent will be out for six weeks – he will return in a couple of weeks,” Pellegrini told Manchester City’s official website ahead of City’s Capital One Cup semi-final against Everton Wednesday.
Along with Arsenal and Leicester City, Man City has emerged as a favorite to lift the Barclays Premier League title this season, but much may depend on how soon Kompany returns to the lineup.
While City has probably the finest striker in the Premier League in Sergio Aguero, the Citizens’ defense has been suspect at times this season, particularly without Kompany to martial them. With the big Belgian in the lineup, City has conceded just twice this season, but they’ve given up 21 goals in the 14 games he hasn’t played in.
“Be sure we are doing all we can to review Vincent in different places with different doctors,” said Pellegrini. “For him also, he’s very sad not to play, I hope that now when he comes back he will be fit until the end of the season.”
City endured a frustrating time against West Ham United on the weekend, requiring an inspired performance from Aguero to salvage a point in a 2-2 draw.
The club, which last won the Premier League title in 2014, has been beset by injuries, with Wilfried Bony, Aleksandar Kolarov, Eliaquim Mangala, and Samir Nasri all set to miss Wednesday’s second-leg clash with Everton.
Though many pundits have picked City as favorites to win the title this year, Pellegrini insists it won’t be easy to separate themselves from the other clubs in the race.
“I think it will be very close and it will take less points to win it than normal,” said the Chilean, who also addressed some of the defensive problems City has experienced in Kompany’s absence.
“Maybe we are conceding some goals where we must be more concentrated. I don’t think we’re defending that bad –- if you see the last game, the first goal was very unlucky. The second goal, I was not very happy. Joe Hart only had one save to make from the free-kick, we defended well.”