City face West Ham

Pellegrini’s side boosted by the return of several stars

By (AFP)

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Published: Sun 20 Oct 2013, 12:46 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:52 AM

Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City will be looking to get their way form back on track when they head to Upton Park to face West Ham on Saturday.

Pellegrini’s side have struggled on their travels, taking just one point from three games away from Eastlands in a disappointing run which has undermined their start to the Premier League campaign.

City hope to end that frustrating sequence in east London this weekend and they travel to the capital boosted by the return from injury of several stars.

Captain Vincent Kompany is set to overcome a thigh injury after missing Belgium’s two games, while midfielder Jack Rodwell has recovered from a hamstring problem and Argentina defender Martin Demichelis, who joined from Atletico Madrid in August, could feature for the first time after suffering a knee injury last month.

For the first time since he took over in the close-season, Pellegrini finally has a full-strength squad to select from, which will come as a major relief considering the hectic schedule in the weeks ahead.

After the trip to Upton Park, City head to CSKA Moscow, where they need a positive result to stay on course to qualify for the Champions League knock-out phase for the first time, before travelling to Chelsea next weekend.

They then come up against Newcastle in the League Cup, and host Norwich and CSKA Moscow before travelling to Sunderland ahead of the next international break.

After struggling for consistency in the opening phase of the season, it is a period that will test the depth of squad.

It will help if Demichelis, recruited to provide cover for Kompany, Matija Nastasic and Joleon Lescott, can finally making his City debut after coming through a midweek reserve match. “It was important to play and get the confidence back. I felt great and it was important to feel what a game is like again,” he said. “My knee responded very well and I’m very happy after working very hard to get here. “It was difficult at the beginning with the injury but that allowed me to meet everybody at the club and feel confident and comfortable with everybody, so it’s fantastic now and I’m looking forward to my debut.”

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