Battle has been joined in the race to populate the heart of the Blues back four.
Joleon Lescott’s timely return to action against Bolton, Micah Richards’ recovery from injury and Dedryck Boyata’s emergence from the reserves have all increased the pressure on those in possession of the shirts.
And the man they all have to oust for a place is the bang in form Belgian Vincent Kompany who, after playing most of his early games for the Blues in midfield, has made a successful and eye-catching switch to the centre of the defence.
Half of Kompany’s appearances as a centre half have ended with a clean sheet for the Blues and he is happy to carry on in the role as long as boss Roberto Mancini asks him to.
“I have always said that it doesn’t make a difference to me whether I play in midfield or defence,” declared Kompany.
I expect the same performance from myself whether I am at the back or higher up the pitch. The most important thing for me is to be in the team. That is what I want to achieve.
“If I stay in the team as a central defender then that is good. I am a proper centre half as much as I am a proper midfielder it really doesn’t make a difference to me. Different coaches have different ideas where I should play and that is fine by me.
“Hopefully if the manager sees me as a long term central defender then I can grow to be a top, top player in that position.”
Mancini is likely to have a nap hand of central defensive candidates from which to choose against Stoke in Saturday evening’s FA Cup fifth round clash at CoMs.
Micah Richards is back in training following three games out with a calf strain and the knee problem that forced skipper Toure out of the win over Bolton in the second half has not proved serious and he is also in contention.
The Blues will however be without attacking threats Craig Bellamy (injured) and Adam Johnson (cup tied) for the bid to make the last eight.
(Kompany) was strong up against two big (Bolton) centre forwards and he's always excellent in the air.
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