Vincent Kompany's Man City place in doubt - Manuel Pellegrini

By Chris BevanBBC Sport at Etihad Stadium
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany (centre) came on
Kompany appeared only as an injury-time substitute against Sevilla

Vincent Kompany is not certain to start Sunday's derby at Manchester United despite his return to fitness, says Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini.

Kompany came on in stoppage time at the end of City's dramatic 2-1 Champions League win over Sevilla on Wednesday.

Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala were picked ahead of Kompany to start in central defence.

"They are both playing very well. On Thursday we will start thinking about the derby," said Pellegrini.

"We have a lot of different things to think about for the next game."

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Kompany was an unused substitute against Bournemouth on Saturday. This time his brief cameo lasted just over two minutes - his first appearance for his club since he suffered a calf injury against Juventus on 15 September.

He had returned to action for Belgium on 13 October, starting their Euro 2016 qualifier against Israel and playing for 58 minutes, despite Pellegrini saying he was not fit enough to represent his country.

When asked whether he had left Kompany out against Sevilla as a punishment for playing for Belgium, Pellegrini said: "Vincent is coming back from a long injury - he has been out for one month.

"There was a risk to give him the responsibility to play this important game. I try to pick the team every week that at this moment are ready or better to play."

Group D

City went behind to Yevhen Konoplyanka's effort for Sevilla before an Adil Rami own goal and late Kevin de Bruyne strike gave them a victory that puts them second in Group D at the halfway stage.

Pellegrini's side only conceded one goal in the 525 minutes that Kompany played at the start of the season before his injury; without him they have not kept a clean sheet and have conceded 12 goals in 645 minutes.

Kompany has skippered City to both their Premier League title triumphs but this is not the first time he has lost his place in their starting XI - in March he was left out after struggling for form after returning from a longer spell out with his problematic calf injury.

A change that worked

Man City character pleases Pellegrini

Pellegrini admitted after the win over Sevilla that he had taken off Wilfried Bony, his only recognised striker, because City were struggling to find a way through the Sevilla defence.

Instead he pushed De Bruyne further up with Yaya Toure, and used the Belgian's pace on the break.

"We tried to make some change because we were not getting in their box and not creating chances, which is why we put Kevin up front with Yaya," said Pellegrini.

"Bony is very important to us because he scores goals, but as a manager you have to see what is happening in the game and in the second half we had at least 15 or 20 minutes where we did not create one chance.

"I made the change and fortunately Yaya and Kevin made two or three chances and scored with one of them.

"We bought Kevin because we thought he is a very creative player, who can score goals. Our style of play allows those players to demonstrate their technique and that in every sense he was the perfect player to join our team."

Pellegrini also remarked on the fight his team had shown in Europe this season.

"After our win at Borussia Monchengladbach, we have now won our last two Champions League games in the last minute, and in both games we were 1-0 down," he said.

"The character of the team has been criticised in Europe but these last two games reflect that we had the character not to concede a goal and to try to win."

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