Manuel Pellegrini has hinted Vincent Kompany will not start Sunday's (26 September) derby clash with Manchester United, with five members of his squad also ruled out of the short trip to Old Trafford. Kompany, 28, missed City's last five games prior to the international break and has not started a match for the club since despite featuring for Belgium on 13 October in a European Championship qualifier.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Pellegrini was hugely frustrated with the decision that saw his captain play for his country, having wanted him to remain in Manchester to complete his recovery from a hamstring problem. In his absence, Eliaquim Mangala and summer signing Nicolas Otamendi have struck up a partnership at the heart of defence and the Chilean coach has hinted he has every intention of looking to the duo again on Sunday.
"It is crucial to play with the best players for the moment. Football is moments – now, Mangala and Otamendi are doing well," Pellegrini told a press conference.
Kompany came off the bench in the final minute of City's 2-1 win over Sevilla on Wednesday but when vice-captain Yaya Toure attempted to hand over the armband to the Belgium international he was waved away by Pellegrini.
But the manager insisted there are no issues between him and his captain, suggesting that if the Belgian is left out of his starting XI on Sunday it will be because of a lack of fitness.
"I don't have a problem with Vincent," he said, the Mirror reported. "Every week I choose the starting XI that's best for that game. Other players must wait. It's exactly the same for all the players.
"I'm not punishing Vincent and I don't have any problem with him. After one month or five weeks without playing or without training, you must be fit but you are not ready to play in important games."
The City boss is already contending with a number of injury woes, confirming that Samir Nasri is another absentee after suffering a hamstring injury in the 5-1 win over Bournemouth. "It will be difficult for Samir Nasri to return before the international break. I hope he will be back after those 1- days."
Sergio Aguero and David Silva are also ruled out of the match after suffering injuries while on international duty. Fabian Delph and Gael Clichy are also unavailable.