Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has been ruled out of the Premier League leaders’ clash with West Ham with a calf injury sustained in the Champions League against Juventus on Tuesday night.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini celebrated his 62nd birthday on Wednesday, but the news of his captain’s absence will come as an unwelcome blow for the Chilean.
Victory against West Ham would be City’s 12th consecutive Premier League win and a club-record sixth-straight win at the start of a season.
City have been in scintillating form, winning all five of their games without conceding a single goal as Kompany rediscovered his past form alongside the much improved Eliaquim Mangala in the centre of defence.
“It’s a calf injury for Vincent Kompany,” said Pellegrini.
“We didn’t concede any goals in the first five games so it’s important to play with the same team as much as you can.
“It’s important for Otamendi to show why he’s here.”
Nicolas Otamendi replaced Kompany against Juve, making his City debut, and looks likely to start against the Hammers, who have won both their away matches, against Arsenal and Liverpool, this season.
Slaven Bilic’s side, however, have lost all of their last seven visits to the Etihad, and Pellegrini will also welcome star-striker Sergio Aguero back from a knee-injury suffered against Crystal Palace.
“Aguero has recovered very well”, said the former Real Madrid manager. “He is 100% fit for tomorrow’s game.”
With Samir Nasri also out along with Pablo Zabaleta and Fabian Delph, City’s record signing, Kevin De Bruyne, could also be in line for his first start for the Citizens.
“De Bruyne is adapting quickly to our system,” said the manager.
“I’m very happy with him – it’s the same as Raheem [Sterling]. We now have a player we didn’t have last season who gives another option to our squad.”
Image courtesy of Manchester City FC via YouTube, with thanks.