Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola confirmed in his pre-match conference for the clash against Liverpool at the Etihad on Saturday that captain Vincent Kompany is likely to miss out with a calf injury – news that will be a huge boost for Reds fans.
Just three games into the season, Kompany has been sidelined with an injury — another calf problem — and the sense of Groundhog Day at the Etihad Stadium is unavoidable.
The centre-back has been an ever-present in the backline for City in their opening three Premier League matches of the season following a number of injury issues in recent seasons, but Guardiola believes he will be sidelined when they host Jurgen Klopp’s second-placed side.
Liverpool supporters were quick to have their say on the injury update via social media, and they were understandably delighted that the likes of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino won’t come up against the 31-year-old.
Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction:
Not having Coutinho in the squad tomorrow is stupid, but Kompany being out is massive #LFC
— Jordan Dodsworth (@JD4___) September 8, 2017
I'd take this Kompany injury news with a pinch of salt. Pep could be playing with us. Done it before. Watch him start. #LFC
— Matt Whittle (@Matt_Whittle84) September 8, 2017
— WeNabbedNaby (@MattiasArvidss1) September 8, 2017
Soft touch…. our front 3 would roast them
— HandersonYNWA (@NtaniAli) September 8, 2017
Kompany injured for tomorrow 👌🏻#LFC
— George Goldie (@GeorgeGoldie2) September 8, 2017
Liverpool win vs city in coming. Kompany injured yet again & Pep spends his time signing attackers.
— Lethal R Lukaku 9 (@LethalRLukaku9) September 8, 2017
Kompany Out!!! 💪 #LFC
— emilio (@emilio1080) September 8, 2017
He [Kompany] played with Belgium against Gibraltar, they won 9-0 and he has a problem with his calf,” Guardiola said at his press conference on Friday. “I do not think he will be available [on Saturday]. I am sad. The last seven, eight, nine games last season, he played no problem. In preseason, we took care of him and he played all three games. Now, unfortunately, we’ve lost him, but we will try and get him fit as soon as possible.”
Guardiola’s “sadness” could also be read as frustration as he smiled through the questions regarding his injured captain.
Kompany played for 90 minutes against Gibraltar but then missed Belgium’s subsequent qualifier against Greece. Guardiola did not say it outright but his repeated mention of the scoreline against Gibraltar, coupled with his expression, hinted at an exasperation that Kompany had to put his body on the line in a game that Belgium could have negotiated without a player whose injuries have often coincided with international breaks. And once again, Kompany returned to Manchester with a fitness problem that forces him to miss a Premier League game, and a big one at that.
His absence is bad enough on its own but with City failing to add a new centre-half on transfer deadline following the inability to complete a deal for West Brom’s Jonny Evans, the loss of Kompany immediately tests the team’s defensive resources. The summer arrivals of full-backs Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy have given City greater solidity at the back, but neither John Stones nor Nicolas Otamendi perform quite so well together as they do when playing alongside Kompany.