Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed that captain Vincent Kompany will not feature in his side's Champions League clash against Monaco due to a knee injury but says that he is closing in on a return to action. Kompany sustained the injury during City's 3-0 FA Cup win over Crystal Palace in January and has unfortunately become accustomed to the treatment table in recent seasons.
While the Belgian international will play no part against free-scoring Monaco at The Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night, Guardiola believes he could be available for City's FA Cup fifth round replay against Huddersfield Town on 28 February. The former Barcelona boss also revealed that Gael Clichy could feature against Leonardo Jardim's men after shaking off a back problem.
"(Vincent) Kompany is not ready for tomorrow, I think it won't be long," Guardiola said in his press conference. "The Huddersfield game he will be ready. Gael Clichy had a problem in his back, but he is much, much better. Maybe he will be back tomorrow.
Claudio Bravo made his first appearance since mid-January and kept a clean sheet in City's 0-0 draw with Huddersfield on Saturday. The Chilean lost his place to Willy Caballero, who has only conceded one goal in his last four games, and Guardiola admits he has not yet decided who will be between the sticks against Monaco.
"Tomorrow we are going to decide (over Bravo and Caballero). Caballero started good in the beginning of the season, he has always been at a top level. He understood what we want because we didn't know each other when I came here." Guardiola added.
The former Bayern Munich boss is fully aware of the threat Monaco pose – the Ligue 1 leaders have scored 76 goals in 26 league matches this season – and praised adversary Jardim on what he has achieved with Les Monégasques, who are currently three points clear of Paris Saint-Germain in the race for the French title.
"I am really impressed by how good Monaco are," Guardiola said. "They are killers in the box. Both holding midfielders are intelligent, physical, strong. They are a complete team, the most successful team in Europe in scoring goals."
"He (Jardim) has been a long time there so he has done a good job. I know how tough PSG are and knowing they are top, four or five points ahead of them, that argument is enough to say how good a job he has made."