En route to topping Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League, Manchester City took a big loss in the injury to Vincent Kompany who left Wednesday’s match with a calf injury. The 29 year-old Belgian defender has played in just 13 Premier League fixtures this season and suffered his 14th calf injury since 2008, the start of his Manchester City career. Manager Manuel Pellegrini announced that Kompany will miss at least a month and could be out for 6-8 weeks.
City’s bad news is pretty good news for United. The Sky Blues have been really poor defensively without Kompany on the pitch. With the big Belgian in the back four, on average, City concedes a goal every 165 minutes. With Kompany on the bench, on average, the Sky Blues allow a goal every 70 minutes. This statistic favors the young United attack. Many experienced defenders like Kompany do a pretty good job of shutting down young stars like Anthony Martial or the even younger starlet Marcus Rashford.
This could end up being the difference in the match. Back in October, in what was probably the most boring Manchester Derby ever, both sides combined for a total of two shots on goal. If Sunday’s match fares the same way, one strong push forward could be the difference. Without Kompany on the pitch, City are at their most vulnerable to concede, and a quick young attack could be enough of a threat to find the back of the net. A derby win could be enough inspiration for the Red Devils to finish in the top four, and as pressure to stay in the top four could get to City.