The powerhouse is back. Just when Manchester City's title charge looked to be dwindling, their leader Vincent Kompany has returned and could be about to take his side to another title.
When the City captain watched his side crumble 3-1 to Leicester last week from the stands, his blood was probably boiling.
His team's 2-1 home loss against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend on his return also would have further infuriated the powerful centre-back. Kompany was short of match sharpness and the questionable penalty referee Mark Clattenburg awarded the north London side in the second-half, that was subsequently finished by Harry Kane, has likely added further fuel to his firing belly.
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Kompany is the sort of player who takes charge of these matches and his presence could once again lead his side to their third Premier League trophy.
RALLIES THE TROOPS
When a player of his magnitude returns to full fitness, every player in that team's dressing room steps up a gear.
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The Belgian won't let anyone slack. If you're not working as hard as him in training if not harder, he'll be onto you. He's a natural-born winner.
Questions have been asked of this City team whether they have gone off the ball with the announcement of Manuel Pellegrini leaving at the end of the season.
The City defender will be hoping to put those queries to bed. He would have seen in these last few months which players haven't been pulling their weight and he will ensure it won't happen again.
His hunger and his desire was shown by an interview he did with Sky Sports last year.
Kompany, when asked about Liverpool striker Sturridge, said: " I enjoy playing against the top strikers in the world and I consider him in that bracket.”
This is a centre-half who doesn't want an easy ride. He doesn't want to settle for winning Capital One Cups and other second tier trophies. He wants to be playing against the best. He's in competition with himself to prove to the world how good he really is.
At 29-years-old he knows time is ticking in terms of his playing career and will be hoping to add another Premier League winners medal to his already impressive haul.
The title race is wide open this season. Although City suffered yet another home defeat to title rivals Tottenham last weekend, they're still well within the mix. Kompany knows there is another chance for him to lift another major honour and he'll do everything within his grasp to ensure that.
The former Hamburg defender goes into each match as if it's a war. He fights for every tackle and every ball with the mentality that he'll come out the victor. He's a player who is a true leader; something which arguably Leicester, Arsenal and Tottenham don't have.
BEST DEFENDER IN THE LEAGUE
When the Belgium international is on the pitch there aren't many better than him in the heart of defence. He's incredibly driven to succeed and has the attributes to show for it.
He has speed, strong aerial ability and positioning as well as the ability to quickly read the game.
It won't come to a surprise to many that Pellegrini's side have lost just once this campaign when he's played and even that could be blamed on the fact he was short of match sharpness. In fact, they have kept seven clean sheets during his Kompany's league appearances when he's been present.
At the start of the season when the Greater Manchester outfit won their first five games, people already thought they had the title sewn up.
Chelsea made a notably poor start and the Sky Blues were being praised for the pricey investments of Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.
When Kompany was sidelined for the first time in September it was no coincidence they suffered their first loss of the campaign at the hands of West Ham United and their form continued to spiral.
TAKES CHARGE OF SITUATIONS
The business end of the season is imminently approaching. This is a time when the likes of Leicester, Tottenham and Arsenal all need to hold their nerve if they want to win the title. The former two teams have never previously been in this position in the Premier League and the Gunners' 12-year wait for another championship will add further jitters from now until May.
The former two teams have never previously been in this position in the Premier League and the Gunners' 12-year wait for another championship will add further jitters from now until May.
When you have the players who know how to win and know how to deal with pressured situations, that's the making of champions and City's team still largely consists of the same protagonists who won the Premier League two years ago.
People were quick to jump on the Leicester bandwagon and immediately make them favourites to win the division after demolishing City and more and more people are beginning to believe Spurs can also snatch the title. However, the City players will know it's far from over and still be confident they can claw back the six-point deficit between themselves and the Foxes.
Just under two years ago, Kompany actually made a mistake which gifted Philippe Coutinho the winner against Liverpool at Anfield in a 3-2 victory for the hosts with four matches to play.
Nonetheless, the Citizens still went on to lift the title. Liverpool couldn't cope with the pressure that comes with winning a title, because no one in the Anfield dressing room had won a Premier League title before.
Leicester and Tottenham may have won the first and second battles, but there are still 12 games to go.
Kompany has two Premier League medals in his cupboard, both of which were fully deserved.
Going back to the first time City won the Premier League in 2012, it was his header which crashed into the roof of the net against Manchester United that wrapped up the victory and put both sides on 83 points with two games to go.
Three weeks prior, the eventual champions were eight points behind leaders Manchester United. City hauled themselves back in the race when they looked dead and buried and largely had their captain to thank.
This wasn't an inexperienced United they were catching either. This was a team who had won 13 Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson and consisted of veterans such as Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.
If you think City's title hopes are over, think again. The City and Belgian train is coming and it'll continue to pick up steam until the end of the campaign.
Do you think Manchester City can win the title? Have your say below!
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