• Premier League

Kompany could miss Manchester derby

ESPN staff
August 30, 2013
The groups for this season's Champions league has been drawn, throwing up some mouth-watering fixtures

Manchester City fear they could be without captain Vincent Kompany until the end of September - meaning he would miss the Manchester derby and the start of their Champions League campaign.

Kompany suffered a groin injury in the 4-0 win over Newcastle on August 19 and said earlier in the week he hoped he would be back soon after the international break.

But manager Pellegrini, whose side face Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League on September 17 and Manchester United in the Premier League five days later, is worried the Kompany could spend six weeks on the sidelines.

He said: "The doctors said it could be four to six weeks. We will see next week how he improves but [for Kompany to return in] less than one month is impossible."

In the short term, Pellegrini will welcome back fellow centre-back Matija Nastasic for Saturday's game against Hull.

Nastasic injured his ankle in the pre-season Barclays Asia Trophy final against Sunderland and was an unused substitute for City's 3-2 defeat to Cardiff on Sunday.

However, Pellegrini remains keen to bring in another centre-back before the transfer window shuts with Atletico Madrid's Martin Demichelis his main target.

He said: "We have some days to bring someone in."

Pellegrini is also confident City can emulate his Malaga team last year by qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

City, who failed to progress from their group in back-to-back seasons under Pellegrini's predecessor Roberto Mancini, have been drawn with defending champions Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen.

And Pellegrini takes heart from his side's prowess last season when Malaga, in their debut Champions League campaign, went on to reach the quarter-finals, despite being put in a pool with AC Milan and Zenit St Petersburg.

He said: "All are difficult groups. Maybe one [Bayern] has more history in the Champions League than the other clubs but I am sure that last year when Milan and Zenit knew Malaga were in their group, they were very happy but after the Champions League it was another thing."

Pellegrini believes City's fate rests in their own hands and added: "We have chances to go to the round of 16 if we play well, not because we have weaker teams [in our group]."

He has been charged with improving City's poor record in Europe's premier club competition, starting with reaching the last 16 and said: "It is one of our targets. We will try and hope we can do it and continue in the Champions League further than [in] the other years."

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