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West Ham v Man City: Kompany close but not ready

MANAGER'S PREVIEW: Pep on Hammers test

MANAGER'S PREVIEW: Pep on Hammers test

Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany is closing in on full fitness – but the FA Cup third round clash at West Ham will come too soon for him.

The Belgian centre-back has not featured since sustaining a knee injury against Crystal Palace in November, but has now returned to training.

Elsewhere, Pep Guardiola suggested he would resist the temptation to rotate his side given the difficult challenge West Ham are likely to present.

The boss said: “We play West Ham away… they are a Premier League team, we are away, it’s tough. I want to continue in this competition.”

On Kompany, he added: “He has started training now but he’s not ready to play tomorrow.”

Guardiola reiterated how happy he was with City’s battling performance against Burnley, when the Blues secured three points despite having Fernandinho sent off in the first half.

West Ham v City: Kick-off time and TV info

“I was so happy for our victory, it was important,” he reflected.

“If we had dropped points against Burnley it would have made life difficult.

“Sometimes I’m so demanding and the players showed how special they are.

“Burnley are not an easy team, they are doing exceptionally, we’ve beaten them away and home - 10 v 11 and that’s why I’m so happy.”

Guardiola also spoke about his anticipation of experiencing the magic of the FA Cup for the first time.

He declared: “In the Bundesliga, the cup tradition is special. What I hear here is that the Cup is special because the low teams can beat the big teams - that’s why it’s fascinating.

“I’m looking forward to it. We were unlucky in the draw.”

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