Kompany set for City return in UCL opener

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.

Vincent Kompany, Man City

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.

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

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.

Plzen's Czech Republic defender David Limbersky expects City to present a different challenge from what his side experienced the last time they reached the competition in 2011-12.

On that occasion they were pitted against Barcelona, AC Milan and BATE Borisov in a daunting group, and held Milan to a draw in their home match on their way to finishing third in the group.

Limbersky 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."

Fellow 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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