Pellegrini won’t take Kompany fitness gamble

MANCHESTER City captain Vincent Kompany could make his return from injury in the Champions League tonight against Viktoria Plzen, but only if he is 100 per cent fit, manager Manuel Pellegrini insists.

The imposing central defender has been sidelined with a groin injury since City beat Newcastle 4-0 on the opening weekend of the season.

City have dropped five Premier League points from three games in Kompany’s absence, but Pellegrini will not fast-track the 27-year-old back to the first team.

“Vincent is very important but we have a squad. We have replacements for any player who is injured,” he said. “We will see if he is 100 per cent fit. If he is, of course he will play, but if he is not he will not play.”

Fellow defenders Micah Richards and Gael Clichy, plus midfielder David Silva, did not travel with the squad to the Czech Republic.

But Pellegrini is hopeful of guiding City to the knock-out stages for the first time in three attempts.

“If we want to qualify we have to respect Viktoria Plzen, CSKA and Bayern the same way,” he added.

“And we will try to put in our best performance to beat them.”