Injury-hit Bayern still a tough test for City
16 September 2014, 23:00
Munich - Injury-hit Bayern Munich pose a big test for Manchester City on Wednesday in what should prove a good gauge of their Champions League ambitions this season, City captain Vincent Kompany said.
City beat Bayern 3-2 in Munich in the group stage last season and the Bundesliga champions are ravaged by injury ahead of their Group E opener.
"We are not favourites," Kompany told reporters on Tuesday. "But the beauty of this game is that every year is a chance to start again.
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Ribery out against City
"It is difficult to predict what will happen tomorrow but as we move on we will get stronger," said Kompany, whose team needed a late header by Martin Demichelis, a former Bayern player, to snatch a 2-2 draw against Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday.
Bayern will be without experienced Franck Ribery with fellow winger Arjen Robben also doubtful. Central defender Holger Badstuber tore a thigh muscle tendon on Saturday and requires surgery. He joins Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thiago Alcantara, Rafinha and Javi Martinez on the sidelines.
City are desperate to finally break into Europe's football elite after years of vast investment in the club.
"There are probably not many harder places to come to," said the Belgium international. "It is time to close the gap between us and those three, four best clubs in the world.
"It is a good thing to start with such a game. But it is just the first step in the group stage," said the 28-year-old defender.
Kompany and his team mates will be without Argentine Pablo Zabaleta, who is serving a one-game suspension following his red card in last season's round of 16 and suspended coach Manuel Pellegrini, who is sitting out a touchline ban for a referee outburst last season.
Assistant coach Ruben Cousillas will be in charge for the game with the Argentine saying Pellegrini had full confidence in him to run such a big game.
"Of course we will miss Manuel. However I know how he thinks and I have his 100 percent confidence," Cousillas told reporters.