Colorado Rapids vs Orlando City | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Colorado Rapids vs Orlando City

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Sunday, April 29 2018 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)

Colorado Rapids vs Orlando City: Preview

Sunday afternoon sees Colorado Rapids welcome Orlando City to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids sit 8th in the Western Conference, while Orlando are 3rd in the East.

Last weekend was Colorado’s first loss since Week 1. They can feel hard done by not to see performances reflect a higher position in the standings – having won two, drawn two and lost two.

This is going to be a test for Anthony Hudson’s side, who are welcoming an Orlando outfit in good form. They are going to be without their ‘keeper, Tim Howard, who saw red for handling the ball outside of the area.

Orlando have won four games on the bounce. That is most certainly playoff form and they are hoping the good run can continue here.

It is not going to straightforward though and they must iron out some defensive frailties. Their 3-2 win over San Jose last weekend should have been far more comfortable. At 3-0 up the game was out of sight but weak defending from crossing made for a cagey ending to that one.

The only previous meeting between the two in Colorado ended 0-0, while the Lions are yet to lose against the Rapids. That by no means implies an away is guaranteed, which Orlando will be all too aware of.

Colorado Rapids vs Orlando City: Team News

Colorado Rapids

❌ Suspensions: Tim Howard.

❓ Doubts: Danny Wilson (undisclosed).

🚑 Out: Kortne Ford (knee) and Marlon Hairston (knee).

Orlando City

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: RJ Allen (hamstring).

🚑 Out: Mason Stajduhar (localized Ewing sarcoma), Scott Sutter (lower body) and Jonathan Spector.

Colorado Rapids vs Orlando City: Key Stats

Colorado Rapids’ MLS form: D/W/D/W/L

Orlando City’s MLS form: L/W/W/W/W

Key stat: Orlando City are one win away from equalling the longest win streak (five) since their inception to MLS.

Colorado Rapids vs Orlando City: Prediction

Colorado Rapids 2-2 Orlando City: Given Rapids recent form it’s difficult to see them losing this one, despite missing Howard and having lost last time out. Orlando’s winning run adds pressure to both sides – it is going to be an interesting tie which has the potential for goals. Score draw.

Advertisements

Columbus Crew vs DC United | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Columbus Crew vs DC United

MAPFRE Stadium – Saturday, March 25 2018 – 18:00 ET (22:00 GMT)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Preview

Saturday evening sees Columbus Crew take on Eastern Conference rivals DC United live on Sky Sports Football for UK fans.

Columbus Crew sit second in the East after failing to make it three wins in a row to start their 2018 campaign. Their 0-0 draw with Philadelphia did however keep their unbeaten run intact and they will be hoping to continue that streak here.

An impressive start to the season has been helped by the partnership formed by new signing Gyasi Zardes and Crew SC favourite Federico Higuain. Although they failed to combine to break the deadlock last time out, they are already proving to be a very real threat to opposition defences.

DC’s comeback from being two goals down at half-time to draw 2-2 last weekend against Houston will have been celebrated like a win. They showed great desire not to let the scoreline get on top of them and it stopped it being two losses on the bounce.

It hasn’t been the ideal start to 2018 for the Black-and-Red, who are yet to win a game. This wouldn’t exactly be the fixture of choice in that hunt for three points for the DC faithful either, as they have failed to win in ten on the road against Columbus.

However, all winless runs have to come to an end at some point and that is exactly what Ben Olsen will be reminding his side of ahead of this one.

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Team News

Columbus Crew

🌎 International duty: Zack Steffen and Wil Trapp

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Mike Grella (left knee) and Gaston Sauro (left knee).

DC United

🌎 International duty: Oniel Fisher, Dane Kelly, Ulises Segura, Zoltan Stieber and Bruno Miranda

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Russell Canouse (knee), Taylor Kemp (groin) and Junior Moreno.

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Key Stats

Columbus Crew’s MLS form: W/W/D

DC United’s MLS form: D/L/D

Key stat: Columbus Crew are unbeaten in their last ten home games against DC United.

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Prediction

Columbus Crew 2-1 DC United: Given their strong start to 2018 and home record against DC, Columbus will be going into this one looking at it as a must win game. They will want to bounce back to winning ways after their draw last weekend and have a great chance of doing so here. DC won’t roll over easily. This fixture is far from a foregone conclusion and they have more than enough talent to come away from Columbus with a point at the very least. But it is a real possibility that history will repeat itself and we see DC going home empty handed.

New York City FC vs Orlando City | 2018 MLS Match Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: New York City FC vs Orlando City

Yankee Stadium – Saturday, March 17 2018 – 15:55 ET (19:55 GMT)

New York City FC vs Orlando City: Preview

New York City FC welcome Orlando City to Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The home side are looking to make it three wins in a row as their former coach Jason Kreis comes to town. It is the first time in their history they have won their opening two games.

Last weekend should have been a far more comfortable result for NYCFC. Their 2-1 win against the Galaxy was a solid result but there is still plenty for them to improve on.

There can be no excuses for not killing the game off this weekend if they get into a similar position. If NYCFC are looking to send out a message to the rest of the Eastern Conference, they need continue their fine start.

MLS: NYC FC vs. LA Galaxy at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y., USA, on Monday, Mar 12, 2018. Photo: Ashley Marshall

Orlando City have had a rough start to their 2018 campaign. They have been blighted with injuries and have felt the impact of missing players. Despite preseason optimism after a busy winter of re-shaping the squad, the Lions find themselves in a tough position with one point from two home games.

This weekend should mark the debut for new signing Sacha Kljestan. That will be a much needed lift to the rest of a depleted squad. The former RBNY man will be out to prove a point and continue his fine run of form against NYCFC.

Some might find the all-time series standings a surprise. Orlando have won five of the nine meetings between the two, with NYCFC winning just twice. If Orlando can pick up their first three points of the season here it should kick-start what could be a very exciting 2018.

New York City FC vs Orlando City: Team News

New York City FC

❌ Suspensions: None

❓ Doubts: None

🚑 Out: None

Orlando City

❌ Suspensions: Pierre da Silva

❓ Doubts: Stefano Pinho (right ankle)

🚑 Out: Mason Stajduhar (Localized Ewing Sarcoma), Dom Dwyer (quad strain), Josue Colman (thigh bruise) and Oriol Rosell (fitness)

New York City FC vs Orlando City: Key Stats

NYCFC’s MLS form: W/W

Orlando City’s MLS form: D/L

Key stat: Sacha Kljestan is back and due to make his Orlando City debut. The creative midfielder has ten assists against NYCFC from his time with New York Red Bulls.

New York City FC vs Orlando City: Prediction

New York City FC 3-1 Orlando City: Given the key players missing for the Orlando side and how NYCFC have started the 2018 season a home win looks likely. Patrick Vieira’s side will have to be careful not to allow Orlando too much time on the ball as despite absentees, they still have players who can have a huge impact here. Goals are expected but the home side should run out winners.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Leicester City vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Leicester City FC vs. Manchester City

Venue: King Power Stadium – Saturday, December 10 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Leicester 18/5 – Draw 3/1 – Man City 7/10

Match Preview

Leicester welcome Manchester City to the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening in a tie contested by two sides who will feel they’re under performing this season.

The Foxes are struggling to live up to the dizzy heights of last season and if they’re not careful they’ll find themselves in a relegation scrap.

Claudio Ranieri’s side are just two points above the bottom three and are in a dismal run of form. They need to get a string of positive results together and push their way up the Premier League table.

Leicester’s smash and grab style of football that won them the league last season isn’t having the same impact as it did, but a win here would make a huge difference to the mood around the King Power.

Embed from Getty Images

Manchester City have been on track to challenge for the title from the start of the season but they come into this one having lost both the game and their discipline against Chelsea last weekend.

Pep Guardiola is under a little pressure and things are not going his way. City are now sitting fourth, four points off top spot. While this is not the time to panic, the City players are going to need to step up and strike fear back into their opponents.

City’s season is in good shape, they are well in the title race and, like Leicester, have qualified for the knockout rounds of the Champions League.

However, a loss here would open the possibility of City dropping out of the top four if other results go against them. In what appears to be the most competitive Premier League season ever, there is no hiding place for below-par performances.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel remains out. Danny Drinkwater will complete his three-game ban on the sideline for this one, other than those two, Ranieri has a clean bill of health for his side.

Manchester City will be without their goal machine Sergio Aguero and midfielder Fernandinho following their red cards last weekend. Guardiola’s selection issues are from back to front as he will also be without Nicolas Otamendi, who received his 5th yellow of the season last weekend, so now faces a one match suspension. Raheem Sterling’s return can’t come soon enough for City, he is expected to still be sidelined for this tie, while Vincent Kompany is out and Fabian Delph is a doubt.

Key Points

Leicester’s last five: D/L/L/D/L

Manchester City’s last five: W/D/W/W/L

Key Stat: Home comforts – Although Leicester are going through a rough patch, their home form is something they have been able to fall back on. They’re lost just once in their last 22 at the King Power.

Key Player: Kevin De Bruyne – The Belgian midfielder will be forgiven for feeling sorry for himself after he wasted a huge chance to put City out of sight in their loss last weekend. He’s not the sort to be denied and will be looking to make amends this time around. KDB will be sniffing in and around the penalty area for a goal.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Leicester City 1-3 Manchester City – Manchester City need a result following their ill-tempered defeat last weekend. Leicester’s struggles will continue here and City are one of the last sides they will want to be facing while they’re going through this difficult run of form.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Manchester United

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Manchester United

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Sunday, October 23 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET) 

Match Odds: Chelsea 23/20 – Draw 9/4 – Man Utd 5/2 

Match Preview

Chelsea take on Manchester United and welcome back Jose Mourinho on Sunday in what is set to be arguably their biggest game of the season so far.

The Blues have been inconsistent over their last five games. They’ve only picked up seven points from a possible 15, but have won their last two.

Antonio Conte was pleased with Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Leicester last weekend. He has seen his side put in some strong performances since opting for a formation change to his more familiar 3-5-2.

This is going to be a huge occasion for Chelsea fans and a number of players who won the league with Mourinho just two seasons ago. He should receive a warm reception but he will quickly be reminded that he is ‘the enemy’ once the game kicks off.

Embed from Getty Images

Manchester United have been in a poor run of form domestically, picking up just five points from the last 15 on offer.

Mourinho tightened things up defensively against Liverpool in their last Premier League game, but allowed his side to play with more freedom in their Europa League demolition in midweek. Paul Pogba starred in that game, scoring twice. He will be looking to continue to prove doubters wrong here.

The emotions will be high for Mourinho on his second return as an opposition manager to Stamford Bridge, much of the build up has focused on him as United manager, which may well help to keep a little pressure off some of his underperforming stars.

Manchester United will be looking to put an end to an unwanted run of ten without a win against Chelsea in all compeitions. Mourinho won his only other visit to the Bridge as an opposition manager and he will be desperate to win here.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Chelsea will still be without Kurt Zouma as he continues his recovery from a long term knee injury. John Terry has been declared fit by Conte. Oscar, Branislav Ivanovic, Cesc Fabregas and John Obi Mikel were all unavailable for selection last weekend, they remain doubts. It remains to be seen whether Willian will return from compassionate leave.

Manchester United could be without Chris Smalling as he came off in their midweek Europa League with a muscle injury. Phil Jones remains out, while Morgan Schneiderlin is a doubt.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: D/L/L/W/W

Manchester United’s last five: L/L/W/D/D

Key Stat: Chelsea are unbeaten against Manchester United in their last ten meetings in all competitions.

Key Player: Diego Costa – Chelsea’s goal-machine and talisman will be itching to keep his goalscoring run going this weekend. Costa is the Premier League’s top scorer with seven.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United – There have been four draws in the last five meetings between these two sides. Chelsea have struggled against the so-called ‘top sides’ this season and will be desperate to extend their unbeaten run to three. Manchester United to draw their third on the bounce, but importantly avoid defeat away from home in a difficult fixture.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. Sporting Kansas City

Venue: StubHub Center – Thursday, June 2 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 7/10 – Draw 14/5 – Kansas City 15/4

Match Preview

LA Galaxy welcome Sporting Kansas City to StubHub Center on Thursday evening in one of six midweek fixtures before the two week international break.

Galaxy’s unbeaten run of nine was ended by Montreal at the weekend in dramatic fashion as they conceded in the last seconds of injury time.

Bruce Arena’s side have now only won once in their last five games and trail top spot in the Western Conference by eight points.

LA are still 5th and do boast the best goal difference in Major League Soccer. They’ll be looking to get back on track here and improve on recent results.
Embed from Getty Images

Sporting Kansas City are struggling for form and come into this one off the back of their 1-0 loss to DC, their second loss on the bounce and fourth in their last five.

Peter Vermes will be concerned with SKC’s form, as they have only won once in their last ten outings and only scored seven goals in those games.

Kansas City remain 7th in the West and only three points outside the top six, so if they can regain form and get on a run they could push their way back up the table.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

LA Galaxy have no injury concerns heading into this tie but will be without Robbie Keane, Baggio Husidic and Gyasi Zardes who are all on international duty.

Sporting Kansas City are expecting to be without Kevin Ellis through injury and Seth Sinovic is a doubt. Soni Mustivar, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi are also on international duty.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s last five: D/W/D/D/L

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: L/L/W/L/L

Key Stat: Fortress – Galaxy are unbeaten in their last six games at StubHub Center

Key Player: Steven Gerrard – The midfield maestro is the joint leader of assists for Galaxy so far this season. He will need to step up and take the game to SKC in the absence of so many key faces for his side.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 3-1 Sporting Kansas City – Galaxy to bounce back and continue their strong run of home form. Although both sides are missing players through international duty, SKC have struggled of late and don’t have quite the same squad depth as the home side.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs San Jose Earthquakes

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, May 22 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 3/5 – Draw 3/1 – San Jose 9/2

Match Preview

LA Galaxy welcome San Jose Earthquakes to StubHub Center in the latest instalment of the California Clasico as part of MLS Rivalry Week this weekend.

Bruce Arena’s side extended their unbeaten run to eight games with their 2-2 draw away at Philadelphia last time out.

Galaxy sit 4th in the Western Conference, one point ahead of San Jose in 5th ahead of this tie and LA have some cushioning as they have played a game less than the Quakes.

LA boast the best goal difference in MLS and if they can continue their run of form they will have a real chance of winning the Supporters’ Shield. They trail top spot by five points but have two games in hand.

Embed from Getty Images

San Jose Earthquakes ended a two-game winless streak with their 3-1 home win over Houston last time out.

The Quakes haven’t won on the road in their last seven attempts, losing five and drawing two and have conceded 16 along the way.

Dominic Kinnear’s side lost their earlier meeting between the sides this season 3-1 and haven’t won any of their last five away against Galaxy.

San Jose have struggled in recent times in the Cali Clasico, winning just two out of the last ten, so a win would be a hugely celebrated result here and would move them above the Galaxy in the West.

Seattle Sounders vs San Jose Earthquakes

Team News

LA Galaxy have just the one injury concern as Alan Gordon looks set to miss out, while Jelle Van Damme is one booking away from suspension.

San Jose Earthquakes could be without up to five players as Marc Pelosi, Cordell Cato, Clarence Goodson and Mark Sherrod are all expected to miss out. Quincy Amarikwa could make the squad as he is returning to full fitness. Anibal Godoy is one caution away from suspension.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s last five: W/W/D/W/D

New England Revolution’s last five: L/W/D/L/W

Key Stat: LA are unbeaten in 13 of their last 14 home games in Major League Soccer.

Key Player: Giovani Dos Santos – The LA Galaxy forward has netted five goals this season and is their top goalscorer. He will look to provide the spark needed in the final third.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 3-1 San Jose Earthquakes – Galaxy to repeat the scoreline of the first meeting of the season between these sides and continue their unbeaten run. Goals are coming from all over the park for the Galaxy, who are the highest scorers in MLS with 24. San Jose haven’t had the best form in the Cali Clasico and it looks like this one has the makings of another disappointing night for the Quakes fans.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto FC vs Columbus Crew

Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto FC vs. Columbus Crew

Venue: BMO Field – Saturday, May 21 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Toronto FC 19/20 – Draw  5/2 – Columbus Crew 14/5

Match Preview

Toronto FC welcome Columbus Crew to BMO Field on Saturday evening for the latest instalment of the Trillium Cup series.

The home side come into this tie off the back of their 1-1 draw against New York City FC. The Toronto faithful would have been hoping for a win but it was a good result as their side had to come from behind for a share of the points.

This was a missed chance for Greg Vanney’s side, who would have gone top of the Eastern Conference with a win. Toronto currently sit fourth, trailing top spot by two points.

Toronto need to take a win from this game to end their run of four consecutive outings at home with a respectable points tally. They have taken four points from three games so far, so seven from four matches would be a solid return.

Toronto Celebrate New York Red Bulls

Columbus Crew come into this one off the back of their 1-1 tie with Colorado, their second consecutive draw.

Crew have been on a far better run of form recently, only losing one of their last five, winning two and drawing two. They have built up momentum to push their way up table but know this is going to be a tough tie, especially considering they have failed to win in their last seven away games.

Columbus sit 9th in the East, seven points off top spot and three outside of the playoffs. They need to continue their run of form and push into the top six, the very least that would have been expected of them at the start of the season given the strength of their 2015 campaign.

Seattle Sounders vs Columbus Crew

Team News

Toronto FC are missing four players for the visit through injury. Benoit Cheyrou, Marky Delgado, Jonathan Osorio and Jozy Altidore are all out.

Columbus Crew have just two injury concerns ahead of this one as Chad Barson is out, while Tony Tchani is a doubt.

Key Points

Toronto FC’s last five: W/L/W/L/D

Columbus Crew’s last five: W/W/L/D/D

Key Stat: Columbus were unbeaten in all three Trillium Cup meetings last season, winning two and drawing one and lead the all-time series with six wins to two. The Crew fans will be hoping their side can recreate the form they showed in the 2015 campaign and take a positive result in this one.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Toronto frontman has netted eight goals and racked up five assists so far this season. If he is on form here he could prove to be the difference for the home side once again.

Sebastian Giovinco Toronto FC 2016

Score Prediction

Toronto FC 2-1 Columbus Crew – Toronto to peg another win back on Columbus in the Trillium Cup series and get back to winning ways here. Columbus have been in a great run of form but this tie will be a huge challenge and their struggles on the road will continue.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto FC vs New York City FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto FC vs. New York City FC

Venue: BMO Field – Wednesday, May 18 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: Toronto FC 8/13 – Draw  3/1 – New York City FC 4/1

Match Preview

Toronto FC welcome New York City FC to BMO Field in the first outing of a double gameweek for both of these Eastern Conference sides on Wednesday night.

The home side come into this one off the back of that exhilarating 4-3 loss to Vancouver, a frustrating result to take, but somewhat unsurprising as they never led at one point in the game. That loss was Toronto’s second in their last five games and their first home loss of the season, albeit only their second home outing.

Toronto face Columbus at home in the second of their double gameweek clashes, so they have two intense fixtures in the space of four days to contend with here.

Greg Vanney’s side are currently 4th in the Eastern Conference, trailing top spot by two points, but they do have this game in hand, so a win would take them top ahead of the weekend.

Toronto Celebrate New York Red Bulls

New York City FC are in fine form. They come into this tie off the back of their 2-1 away win over Portland, their third win on the bounce.

Patrick Vieira has made a great impact in his time at the club and as a result New York City are 2nd in the Eastern Conference, only behind Montreal on goal difference. They just need to avoid defeat here to go top.

New York City are unbeaten against Toronto since their inception, winning two and drawing two. They have scored at least two goals in all four of those games against the Canadian side.

Up next for NYCFC is the New York Derby in the second of their double gameweek matches – the first of four consecutive home outings for Vieira’s side, so they have a great chance of continue their challenge at the top of the East.

MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact

Team News

Toronto FC are missing three players for the visit through injury. Benoit Cheyrou, Marky Delgado and Jozy Altidore are all out. Altidore’s hamstring injury is also a huge blow for the USMNT as he now looks set to miss the Copa America.

New York City FC could also be without three for this tie. Connor Brandt is out, while Frank Lampard and Jack Harrison are both doubts. Mikey Lopez is one caution away from suspension.

Key Points

Toronto FC’s last five: W/W/L/W/L

Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: L/D/W/W/W

Key Stat: Goals – The two sides have netted a combined 18 goals against one another in their four meetings in all competitions – an average of 4.5 per game.

Key Player: David Villa – The NYCFC talisman has scored four in his last three, showing just how important he is to Vieira’s side. They will be reliant on him to outperform Sebastian Giovinco to win them this game. Both forwards have had incredible seasons so far, netting eight goals each.

MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact David Villa

Score Prediction

Toronto FC 2-2 New York City FC – In all four of the meetings between these sides there has been plenty of action with an astonishing 18 goals being scored. It has the makings of becoming an MLS classic and we can expect a real battle again here. Giovinco vs Villa is the matchup most fans will be relishing, so many will be looking forward to seeing this unfold and we don’t expect the two goal-machines to disappoint.

Did losing Vincent Kompany dismantle Manchester City’s title bid?

Manchester City haven’t enjoyed the best of season’s despite an impressive Champions League run to the semifinals. They are clinging onto fourth spot in the Premier League with one game to go as Dan McClue looks at one reason why it may have gone wrong for them this year.

Manchester City were many people’s pick to win the Premier League this season, and if not they were expected to push for the title all the way.

Currently, they sit fourth with one game to go and their Champions League spot is under serious threat from the rivals in red, Manchester United.

Should they fall out of the top four it would be a disastrous way to end what is has been an underrated reign from Manuel Pellegrini and would also give new boss Pep Guardiola a troubled start to his City career.

But where has it gone wrong this season? For me, the consistent injuries to club captain Vincent Kompany have cost them more than anything else.

Embed from Getty Images

The Belgian international joined the Sky Blues in 2008 from Hamburg and has since become their captain and played in 298 matches, scoring 14 goals from defence.

This season Kompany has started 22 games overall (14 in the Premier League) and has been forced off before the 10th minute in four of those matches due to injuries. In a 38-game league season, City needed their best defender and leader to start more than 25 games to be in with a shout of challenging for the title.

The Citizens are blessed with formidable attacking talent as Sergio Aguero is the best striker in the league and Kevin De Bruyne is on the way to becoming one of the world’s top playmakers despite also struggling with injuries this season.

However, without Kompany their defence has looked untrustworthy and vulnerable. Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala when paired together have arguably only had one top quality match – the second-leg Champions League tie against PSG. Martin Demichelis has never looked like a stable option for the club but all three centre-backs look twice as good when paired with Kompany.

Embed from Getty Images

A good example of the captain’s importance is when we look at the club’s two title-winning seasons. In 2011/12 he played 42 games overall, 31 being in the league. In 2013/14 when they won their second Premier League title he played in 37 games overall (scoring five goals) with 28 league appearances. They finished second in the season between their triumphs – the same position as last year but won’t be in the top two come the end of this campaign.

In the 2012/13 season Kompany played in 26 league games and last season he played 25 games in the top flight. This shows that while there may not be much of a difference on paper between playing 25 games and playing 28 games, if the league is won by 3-6 points those games that Kompany missed would certainly have made City more competitive had they had their captain.

Embed from Getty Images

It is of obvious importance for a title challenging team to have a solid defence with a leader on the pitch. Manchester United had Nemanja Vidic in the 2010/11 and 2012/13 seasons and he was also helped by Rio Ferdinand. City had Kompany in the 2011/12 and 2013/14 seasons and Chelsea had John Terry in 2014/15. All those centre-backs were not only formidable defenders but their respective club captains.

The championship winning teams would certainly have shaped up differently had they been without these players for 10+ games. These players organise the defence on the field and have the authority to command respect from the rest of their team, which is why without Kompany players like Otamendi and Mangala look lost without their leader.

The question for City now is where do they go from here? Both with Kompany and the rest of the team. The captain is 30 years old. For most top defenders they should be able to play until about 33 before struggling to maintain at the top level. That would give Kompany at least three more seasons, but his injury record makes it difficult to predict his future.

According to transfermarkt.co.uk, Kompany is currently valued at £22.5 million. City could look to cash in on their top defender if they feel the injuries he keeps picking up will sustain and they would be able to get more than that valuation from a team desperate for a top quality centre back in Europe. He now looks set to miss the next four months and will subsequently miss the start of Guardiola’s reign.

Embed from Getty Images

The club would definitely receive a backlash from the fans if they sold him, as despite the injury problems he is their club captain for a reason. Over the past two seasons they have spent over £50 million combined on Otamendi and Mangala to give cover for Kompany and to have a competent player alongside him at centre back. Despite City’s apparent endless riches it is not sensible for them to be splashing out on defenders every year trying to find a strong enough centre back pairing to consistently win them the league.

While I couldn’t see City selling Kompany in the next two or three years it should be something they consider, as cashing in on the aging star with recurring injury problems might help them to move on as far as their defensive worries are concerned.

One thing for sure is that Pep Guardiola will certainly have some important decisions to make when he arrives in the summer.

Should Manchester City keep hold of Vincent Kompany despite his injury troubles?