Viktoria Plzen vs Manchester City preview - Kompany poised to play in Plzen

Posted Tuesday, September 17, 2013 by PA

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is poised to return to action in his side's opening Champions League game against Viktoria Plzen in the Czech Republic.

The inspirational defender, who has not played since suffering a groin injury in the opening game of the season, has travelled with the squad ahead of the Group D encounter.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini had previously expressed confidence the Belgium international could return for next weekend's derby against Manchester United and now it seems he could be back sooner.

Despite that, Pellegrini said he will not take any unnecessary risks with his key defender.

Pellegrini, speaking at a pre-match press conference at the Doosan Arena, said: "Vincent has worked with us normally for the last two days.

"We will see if he is 100 per cent. If he is, of course he will play. We will talk with the doctor and decide.

"I think he will be 100 per cent, but if he is not he will not play.

"We have a very important match but we have other players if any are not 100 per cent."

Kompany was badly missed as City suffered a shock loss to promoted Cardiff in their second Barclays Premier League game of the season.

Since then they have kept two clean sheets but questions have been asked of their injury-hit defence, most notably in Saturday's goalless draw at Stoke.

Micah Richards, Gael Clichy and Martin Demichelis are also sidelined. Despite that, Kompany has played down the significance of his captain's absence.

He said: "Vincent is a very important player for us. He has been injured for about one month.

"But without Vincent, except for the game against Cardiff, the defence played very well. We have had three clean sheets.

"Vincent is very important but we have a squad. We have replacements for any player who is injured."

Defender David Limbersky has hailed the arrival of Champions League football at the home of Viktoria Plzen as a dream come true.

Plzen, the Czech city famous for pilsner beer, hosts its first match in Europe's elite competition this week.

The minnows of Viktoria have been involved in the Champions League before, two years ago, but in that maiden campaign they played their home games at Slavia Prague.

Limbersky, who had an unsuccessful loan spell at Tottenham in 2005, told the club's website, "Playing Champions League at home is a dream come true.

"Of course I'm looking forward to it. It is the first time in the history of the Champions League a game has been played in Plzen and we are so glad we got into this competition."

Plzen, the Czech champions, acquitted themselves reasonably well in 2011-12, having been pitted against Barcelona, AC Milan and BATE Borisov in a daunting group.

They held Milan to a draw in their home match and eventually finished third in the group.

With European champions Bayern Munich, as well as City and CSKA Moscow, visiting this time, they have another exciting group.

Czech international Limbersky expects City to present a different challenge from what they have previously experienced.

He said: "Compared to Barcelona or AC Milan, City play football a little different.

"They are British and their game is more physical but, on the other hand, they have a number of foreign players and their quality is huge."

Viktoria, who have been coached by former Czechoslovakia defender Pavel Vrba for the past five years, came through qualifying impressively, winning all six of the games they played in three rounds.

Limbersky is pleased to have rekindled the spirit of 2011.

He said: "We are very pleased that we were able to enjoy the success of two years ago again.

"Now we want to enjoy it but also show some good performances."

Defender Marian Cisovsky got forward to score five times - making him the joint-top scorer in the qualifying section - but he could be a fitness doubt to face City.



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