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Friday 21 September 2018

Pellegrini asks more of defence

Manuel Pellegrini
Manuel Pellegrini

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says his team are working hard to iron out their defensive problems.

While City have been hugely impressive in attack this season – scoring 56 goals in all competitions – they have appeared vulnerable at the back at times.

Their weaknesses have been most noticeable in the absence of inspirational captain and centre-back Vincent Kompany, who has missed 12 games through injury.

Matija Nastasic, Martin Demichelis, Micah Richards and Gael Clichy have also had spells on the sidelines while goalkeeping issues concerning Joe Hart have been well documented.

Concerns were far from mind in Sunday's 6-0 thrashing of Tottenham, but elements of the performance in the 4-2 defeat of Czech minnows Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday saw them resurface.

Pellegrini (above) said: "In the last two game here at home in Champions League, both teams scored two goals. It is too much.

"Especially in the last game; Plzen did not just score two goals but they had more chances. We are working every day in that sense.

CHANCES

"I suppose we will continue the same way we did against Tottenham – a very strong team with important players in attack and they didn't have any chances."

Pellegrini will hope the imminent return of Kompany will further bolster the backline although the Belgian will not feature this weekend.

Kompany has now recovered from a thigh problem but is not deemed sufficiently match fit for tomorrow's visit of Swansea in the Premier League.

Nastasic is facing another three weeks out with a calf injury, so Demichelis may again partner Joleon Lescott.

Pellegrini would not, however, confirm whether Hart or Costel Pantilimon would start in goal.

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