MANCHESTER City captain Vincent Kompany has lost his battle to be fit for his side’s decisive Champions League quarter-final clash against Paris Saint-Germain.
The influential Belgium defender had been hoping to feature in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium after a month on the sidelines with the latest in a long line of calf-related problems. But despite the 30-year-old being involved in training, Kompany’s involvement has been deemed too much of a risk by manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Pellegrini said: “Vincent Kompany is not 100 per cent.”
Asked if he could still play, Pellegrini said: “No, it is not possible.”
The news will come as a blow for a tie in which the score is locked at 2-2 after a thrilling first leg last week, but City will have Nicolas Otamendi in the centre of defence despite a minor scare over a twisted ankle in the weekend win over West Brom and Pellegrini has faith in his back line.
He said: “I am absolutely confident because with this defence we played a lot of games here in the Premier League and in the Champions League and if we are in this stage it is because we have good defenders.
“We have had a lot of injuries (this season) but I trust 100 per cent in the players who can play.”
Playmaker David Silva will return after resting an ankle injury and the blow to the foot Sergio Aguero took in the latter stages on Saturday has not proved serious.
Pellegrini recognises both sides have everything to play for after an evenly-contested first encounter at the Parc des Princes in which both sides showed good some attacking play but also made costly errors.
The Chilean said: “When we started this stage against Paris Saint-Germain I said I didn’t think one team could be favourites. I continue thinking exactly the same.
“We have to play a tough game against a very good team. We knew that before we played in Paris and we went there to try to win from the beginning.
“Tomorrow we are going to do exactly the same thing because it is the way this team play.”
To progress City will need to keep PSG’s prolific striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic quiet. The Swede scored in the first leg despite a below-par performance in which he missed a penalty.
Ibrahimovic is out of contract in the summer and has long been linked with a move to England, with the latest stories identifying him as a potential Manchester United target.
City defender Bacary Sagna said: “Zlatan has been doing well in every single league he has played in. He has played in Holland, Italy and now in France and has always been a massive player and done well.
“If he ever comes to the Premier League, I wouldn’t be surprised, and I think he can do well here.”