MANCHESTER — Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany is on course to make his return to action against Sunderland today.
Kompany has missed City’s last four games with a hamstring injury, including the visits to Swansea and Stoke, where City have picked up just a single point to surrender the advantage in the Premier League title battle.
However, just as Roberto Mancini’s men reach the point where they cannot afford to fall any further behind favourites Manchester United, Kompany returned to training.
And the latest update from the Belgian is positive.
“Just had my second training session with the team,” he Tweeted. “If all goes to plan I will be available for the Sunderland game.”
With visits to Arsenal and Norwich looming in a potentially pivotal six-day period around Easter, Kompany’s return cannot come soon enough.
And a fully-fit Carlos Tevez would be an advantage too.
The Argentina star has made two appearances off the substitutes’ bench since his return to first-team duties after his extended stand-off with Roberto Mancini.
And whilst he made a significant contribution to the victory over Chelsea by setting up Samir Nasri for the winner, Tevez failed to ignite City at Stoke.
However, Tevez scored on a reserve team outing at Morecambe on Wednesday and team-mate Yaya Touré has revealed the striker has promised to do everything in his power to help City get their noses back in front.
“Everyone can make mistakes, but Carlos is a really good man,” Touré told the Manchester Evening News.
“When you meet him, he is always good fun and a nice guy, even if people may have a different image of him.
“He knew when he came back to the club he had made a very big mistake, but now everything is over and he is focused on winning the Premier League.
“He wants to do as much as possible to say sorry to the fans. He will be an important player for us as he wants to prove he is a top player. I am sure he will be fantastic for the rest of the season.”
Roberto Mancini’s City took top spot temporarily last Saturday after a 1-1 draw at Stoke City only for United to go three points clear with a 1-0 home win over Fulham, where they were lucky to get away with a late penalty shout.
With eight games left and the Manchester duo meeting at Eastlands on April 30, a twist in the title race is almost inevitable and City executive Patrick Vieira has been trying his best to undermine Alex Ferguson’s men.
The former France and City midfielder first said United were desperate for calling Paul Scholes out of retirement to fill a hole in their less-than-stellar midfield.
Chelsea are buoyant after their 1-0 win at Benfica in the Champions League quarter-finals and their hopes of guaranteeing a berth in next term’s competition will be boosted today if they win at an Aston Villa side still not certain of safety.
Roberto Di Matteo’s outfit are fifth, eight points behind third-placed Arsenal who can consolidate their grip on the final automatic Champions League spot with victory at third-bottom Queens Park Rangers — again without the suspended Djibril Cisse.
The battle to avoid the drop could also be heavily shaped by basement side Wolverhampton Wanderers hosting Bolton Wanderers, four points above them in 17th.
Spurs, in fourth and a potential Champions League qualifying-round spot, host this term’s dark horses Swansea City tomorrow. — Reuters