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Hazard shines but Blues stumble

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Kompany out of Everton clash

Vincent Kompany has been ruled out of Manchester City's trip to Everton on Saturday as he still has not recovered from his calf injury.

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The City skipper was hurt in the FA Cup win at Stoke on January 26, but while manager Roberto Mancini is optimistic he will be fit to face Newcastle on March 30, the Belgium international will have spent two months on the sidelines by then.

Sergio Aguero, who has missed the last two matches with a knee problem, is also unavailable for the game at Goodison Park but is likely to return against Newcastle too.

"Vinnie [Kompany] is not in our plans for Saturday and he will be ready, like Sergio [Aguero], for Newcastle. It is difficult because Vinnie is a very important player for us but now he has been out for 45 days," Mancini said.

"Sergio is in Argentina but he will come back on Sunday and on Monday he starts to run [in training] here."

Carlos Tevez, who scored a hat-trick in last week's 5-0 win over Barnsley, is set to keep his place in the attack despite being charged with driving while disqualified and without insurance.

"If he did a mistake, I think it is correct because everyone should respect the rules but I don't think it is a big problem," Mancini said.

The Italian believes the next few games will be vital for City's title bid. They are currently 12 points behind Manchester United, who face Reading and Sunderland before the Manchester derby on April 8.

"The next two or three games will be crucial. If they lose a point in the next two games, maybe. We hope we can play the derby with [a gap of] nine or seven points," Mancini said.

The Italian has only lost 22 league games as City manager but five of those defeats have come in his seven meetings with Everton.

"When they play against top teams, they play better," he added. "They always play a good game against the top teams: against us, against United, against Chelsea. They have this quality."

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