City under Pep Guardiola are top of the league on goal difference, and the first showdown between Pep and the Special One at Old Trafford next weekend promises to be electrifying.
One player who will not be playing is Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany. The City captain was forced off the pitch with a thigh injury 10 minutes into the second leg of City’s Champions League semi-final defeat to eventual champions Real Madrid in May and has undergone four months of rehabilitation since
As part of his recovery process, Kompany, along with Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan, took part in closed doors training match in which Kompany played two 25 minute halves behind closed doors.
Following the training game, Kompany was given two days off and flew to Belgium where the skipper linked up with his national team mates, new boss Roberto Martinez and assistant coach Thierry Henry.
According to the Daily Mirror, Kompany, who averaged eight defensive actions across 14 Premier League appearances last season, will make his return after the derby as Guardiola doesn’t want to risk him in a high-intensity game given how long he has been out.
Without Kompany, City are expected to continue with John Stones and Aleksandar Kolarov in central defence for the game. When fit Kompany is an exceptional defender, and Guardiola will have to be worried that Stones and Kolarov will get physically bullied by the much bigger Zlatan Ibrahimović.
City will learn on Friday if they will be without star striker Sergio Aguero for the Manchester derby, following his decision to contest an FA charge of violent conduct.
With Joe Hart on loan, Kompany injured and Aguero possibly suspended, the complete spine of the City side that has won two of the last five Premier League titles has been completely changed.