Vincent Kompany provides positive Burnley injury update ahead of Birmingham City clash
Burnley manager Vincent Kompany expects Manuel Benson, Nathan Tella and Anass Zaroury to be available against Birmingham City on Tuesday night at Turf Moor.
The Clarets were eliminated from the EFL Cup in a 2-0 defeat by Premier League giants Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, despite a spirited performance in which they created chances of their own.
However, the main concern after the game was winger Benson, who had to be substituted in the second half. The 25-year-old, who signed from Royal Antwerp in the summer, has been in fine form lately and has had more goals involved this season than any other Burnley player with seven goals and four assists.
Benson scored a brace in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Middlesbrough that kept the Clarets at the top of the Championship table, three points ahead of second-placed Sheffield United and eight ahead of third-placed local rivals Blackburn Rovers.
He put in an impressive display against United and should be available for the Blues clash next week, with Kompany confirming he was sent off with cramps and nothing more serious.
“It was a cramp” Kompany told LancsLive. “There’s a lot of talk about players running away with cramps, but in this case he’s blown away and that’s the way to go when you can’t walk!
“He will get a lot out of this performance for him. I remember seeing Benson in Belgium and you always said in games like this would he let his team down if he didn’t have the ball? And today I thought he showed a different side of his game as he keeps improving at it and what he did on the ball that was visible to everyone. He’s a player going in the right direction.”
The Belgian could also be bolstered by the return of loanee Southampton player Tella, who has missed the last two games through illness, while Zaroury is now back in full training following his World Cup away game with Morocco.
He was part of the Moroccan team that had an incredible run in the tournament, reaching the semifinals where they were beaten by France. He was allowed to travel to Morocco with his team-mates to celebrate their achievements, but Kompany says he is now back in the running.
“He’s had the privilege of being celebrated by millions of people so we didn’t want to deprive him of that and now he’s getting back to his normal life.” said Company.
Championship is back! How much can you remember of Burnley’s season so far?
This is great news for Burnley.
Clarets fans would have been sweating after seeing Benson eliminated against United and the fitness of their in-form player will be a huge relief.
Kompany’s men put on an incredibly dominant display against Boro last weekend, and that’s without Tella and Zaroury, who were the 36-year-old’s regular picks in wide areas, highlighting the strength at depth at his disposal.
But now that those players are back, Kompany has an enviable array of attacking options ahead of the hectic holiday season as the league leaders look to extend their lead at the summit.
Kompany now faces a tough decision on who to line up against Birmingham, but it’s a selection issue he’ll be happy about.