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Manchester City lacking Kompany as they chase Champions League knockout berth

Published 23/11/2016

Manchester City will be without Vincent Kompany once again
Manchester City will be without Vincent Kompany once again

Manchester City are again without Vincent Kompany as they look to secure their place in the last 16 of the Champions League tonight.

The City skipper has not travelled to Germany for his side's penultimate Group C game at Borussia Monchengladbach after it was confirmed he faces another lay-off with a knee injury.

The 30-year-old suffered ligament damage in the collision with goalkeeper Claudio Bravo that also left him concussed in Saturday's Premier League victory at Crystal Palace.

Manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed he expects the player to be out a number of weeks following this latest setback, the 35th reported injury Kompany has suffered since joining City in 2008.

"For the next weeks he's injured," said Guardiola at a press conference in Dusseldorf.

"Fortunately it's not too bad in the head, because that is the most difficult thing, but in that action he had a little bit problem with the knee.

"He's sad. He's sad and upset. It's long time he doesn't play."

Kompany had been making just his fifth appearance of the season as he tried to ease back into action from the groin strain he suffered on his return from a thigh injury at Swansea in September.

He had recently sat out games against Barcelona, West Brom and Middlesbrough and withdrawn from international duty with Belgium as precautionary measures.

Guardiola was unable to give a clear indication of how long Kompany will be out for but is confident it will be weeks rather than months. He also confirmed he will be treated by Barcelona-based specialist Dr Ramon Cugat, who advised on his previous injury and has worked with other City players.

Guardiola said: "I didn't speak with him but he is in the best hands. Cugat is part of our team and he will be controlled there and make the best treatment possible.

"The doctor told me (he will be out for) weeks but didn't explain exactly how many."

Following their stunning defeat of group leaders Barca last time out, City will reach the knockout phase for a fourth successive season with victory over Monchengladbach, a side they beat 4-0 in September. A draw will also be sufficient if Barca beat Celtic in the night's other fixture in the group.

The clash at Borussia-Park is Guardiola's first competitive return to Germany since leaving Bayern Munich at the end of last season following his third successive Bundesliga title success.

He said: "I am really happy because I had a really great time and my family had a great time.

"My first official visit to Germany as City manager was actually the friendly against Bayern Munich in July and as I said it was an honour to have spent that time here in Germany."

Monchengladbach have endured a difficult start to the season domestically but Guardiola's Bayern were beaten by them last season.

Guardiola said: "They have a good mentality and I think it's just a phase in which they lose sometimes. I'm sure by the end of the season they will be successful because of their mentality and strength."

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