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Manuel Pellegrini denies punishing Vincent Kompany ahead of Manchester derby

Manuel Pellegrini insists that he is not punishing Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, but does not indicate whether the defender will start against United.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has reiterated that he has no issues with captain Vincent Kompany, but has not confirmed whether the centre-back will start in Sunday's derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The 29-year-old played less than an hour of Belgium's 3-1 win over Israel last week, despite Pellegrini publicly claiming that the defender would not feature because of injury.

Kompany did not start City's 2-1 win over Sevilla in the Champions League in midweek, but came off the bench in the 89th minute.

There have been suggestions that Pellegrini was punishing the Belgian for playing for his country, but the Chilean coach has insisted that there are no issues behind the scenes.

"I don't have any problem with Vincent Kompany," Pellegrini told reporters in today's press conference. "Every week I have to choose the starting XI that I think is best for that game. The other players must wait. It's exactly the same for the other players in the squad.

"I'm not punishing Vincent and I don't have any problem with him. After one month or five weeks without playing or without training, you must be fit but you are not ready to play in important games."

Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala have been anchoring the defence in the meantime.

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Vincent Kompany of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City at The Hawthorns on August 10, 2015
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