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Manchester City dealt Kompany setback

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has revealed Vincent Kompany is unlikely to be fit enough to return for the crunch clash against Arsenal a week on Monday.

Kompany is suffering with a calf injury - his second of the season - and has not played since the goalless draw with Aston Villa at the start of November.

Both the captain and Sergio Aguero (heel) are expected to return to training next week, but whereas Aguero is in line for a return against the Gunners, Pellegrini does not expect his centre-back to regain his match fitness so quickly.

"We’ll see because it’s not the same injury, one is a muscle injury the other is just a pain in his heel," he told reporters on Friday.

"It’s difficult for a player just to work three days and to be ready to play. It’s one thing for a player to be fit after his injury and the other one is to be ready to play. That’s a very important difference.

"I think that we will see during the week but I think that we have just a few days."

City are yet to keep a clean sheet without Kompany in their starting line-up this season, having conceded 15 goals in the seven Premier League games he's missed.

In contrast, they have let in just a single goal in the eight matches he has featured, but Pellegrini is adamant his side can cope without the Belgium international.

"There are a lot of different things, not just about one player, when you make mistakes in defence," he added. "We play very bad with Vincent Kompany and very well with Vincent Kompany so it is not just one player.

"That is a matter of concentration, some days or some moments, there are a lot of things we must arrange but I repeat, I am disappointed [only] with about three games out of 25. We have seven or eight players injured every game.
"Vincent is always a leader because he is the captain of the team. [Martin] Demichelis is a very good leader also. They have different personalities but both of them are leaders.

"I repeat, we are doing very well without Vincent but if you ask me, this team is better with Vincent of course. That is why he is the captain and a very important player.