Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany looks set to miss Sunday afternoon's mammoth clash with Chelsea, according to ESPN.
Manuel Pellegrini had been hoping that Kompany, who sat out of the side's wins over West Ham and CSKA Moscow with a thigh injury, would be available for the showdown with Jose Mourinho's men, but speaking ahead of the game, the City boss said: "Vincent is still injured. He will not have a chance to play."
The news is a huge blow to the Citizens' chances of claiming a rare away win at Stamford Bridge.
Under Mourinho, Chelsea have never lost a league game there and it will mean the spotlight falls heavily on either Joleon Lescott or Javi Garcia, who filled in as a makeshift centre-back for Wednesday's game in the Russian capital.
Pellegrini also took the chance to praise top scorer Sergio Aguero, who continued his outstanding form of late with a brace against the Russian champions.
The Chilean even went as far as to say that his Argentine forward is amongst the five best players in the world.
"I always talk with Sergio - he for me is one of the five top players in the world and he must try to demonstrate it in every game he plays," Pellegrini said.
"He is playing with more intensity when we don't have the ball. He has a lot of quality to make the difference."
City go into the crunch clash one point behind Chelsea in fourth place, and will leapfrog the Blues with a victory. They could also mathematically top the league by the end of the week, providing Liverpool do not beat West Brom at Anfield and Arsenal suffer a shock loss to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
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