Manchester City have been handed a major boost ahead of the derby against Manchester United with the news that captain Vincent Kompany is on course to return alongside four fellow injury victims for the crunch fixture. The skipper was joined by summer signings Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan as well as full-back Bacary Sagna in completing full training with the first team following the international break.
Kompany has not played since suffering a thigh strain during the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid last April, missing the summer's European Championships and the start of the new Premier League season as a result. Sane, who joined from Schalke, has been nursing a hamstring problem while Gundogan has been out since May after dislocating his knee cap.
Sagna meanwhile has only played in two of City's four games this season due to hamstring complaint which forced him out of France's friendly against Italy on 1 September. The 33-year-old is braced to return for the trip to United however, while Pep Guardiola will wait before determining the fitness of his other returning trio.
"I feel good," Sagna told City TV. "I had to rest a bit because I had a little tear on my hamstring. I enjoyed that time to work with the physios to make myself stronger. I had a long summer, a long season last year so I need to take care of my body.
"I feel great and I am looking forward to Saturday. I am going to be giving my maximum to the training sessions and I'll try to feel as fit as possible and then the manager will have to make some choices but I'll try to get to 100%.
"We have a big squad, a competitive squad and that can only be good," the former Arsenal full-back added. "We can improve as a team and as players we have to push ourselves even more. There is good competition between us but the main aim is to make the first team stronger and I am sure we can do it."
The first Premier League clash between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola see two sides with 100% records this season go head-to-head as United and City face-off for the first time this term. Sagna is wary of the threat posed by their near neighbours and says his team have learned from their 4-2 reverse back in April.
"I would say it is one big test of many that we are going to have this season," Sagna stated. "[United] are a really good team, a strong team. They have new players also and had a great start. We want to stay on the top from now until the end of the season. We have learned from last year and we will try to dictate the game."