Belfast Telegraph

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini delighted as Vincent Kompany returns

By Paul Hirst

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini insists he has faith in all his defenders – but cannot deny the imminent return of Vincent Kompany is significant.

Kompany, the influential captain and centre-back, is poised to return to action after 10 games out with a thigh injury as City travel to West Brom in the Barclays Premier League tonight.

The Belgian has been missed for his leadership, organisational and defensive skills and will be gladly welcomed back at The Hawthorns.

Pellegrini said: "Kompany is in the squad list and he is travelling with the team. Vincent is a very important player. He is a very good defender and we need him.

"He is also the captain of the team and he will normally be in the 11 starting. We have other captains but all the team is happy with the return of the captain.

"But I repeat, we don't have as many problems in defending as the scores say and the results say.

"I think we have the third best defensive record in the Premier League. In the last five (domestic) games just Sunderland have scored one goal (against us). In all the others we had clean sheets.

"So the other defenders can do it as well, but Vincent is always an important player for us."

Yet it can be argued that some of City's exhilarating home performances have masked defensive deficiencies.

These have particularly come to light away from home and City have lost at Chelsea and Sunderland during Kompany's absence.

They were also beaten at Cardiff in August in another game Kompany missed.

In all, City have lost four out of six away games and they will hope to start putting that right as the West Brom game is followed by a trip to Southampton.

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