• Premier League

Kompany in line for rapid return

ESPN staff
December 21, 2012
Vincent Kompany could be set to return to the first team © PA Photos

Vincent Kompany could make a rapid return to the Manchester City team against Reading on Saturday.

The City captain limped off in the Manchester derby defeat with a groin injury and missed last week's 3-1 win over Newcastle. But he could make his comeback against the Royals while James Milner, who has not played since November's win over Wigan, is definitely available.

And manager Roberto Mancini insisted that Samir Nasri could feature in December 29's game at Norwich.

The Frenchman has a groin injury that it was reportedly serious enough to keep him out of the entire festive programme.

Mancini said: "We hope he can be ready for the bench at Norwich. For Stoke [on January 1], he will be ready."

However, Aleksandar Kolarov will also miss the meeting with Reading, as will long-term absentees Jack Rodwell and Micah Richards and the ill Mario Balotelli.

Mancini added: "We recover James and probably Vinnie but we don't have Samir and Kolarov."

The Italian is aiming for 12 points out of 12 from City's Christmas and New Year fixtures, saying: "We have four games in 10 days and need to do our maximum."

Mancini is wary of Reading, even though Brian McDermott's team prop up the Premier League.

He said: "I don't trust this game because when we play against a team like Reading that took only nine points and probably will be relegated at the end of the season, it will [still] be a difficult game. They beat Everton and against [Manchester] United they lost 4-3."

Mancini marked the three-year anniversary of his appointment by saying he had achieved more than he expected in that time and changed the footballing landscape in Manchester.

He added: "I thought that maybe it would take four or five years to win the Premier League because it isn't easy. We changed things in England and Manchester in particular because for 20 years United won everything and we changed this because we did well."

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