Richards confident skipper Kompany's return after four-match ban will put an end to City's defensive woes

Micah Richards welcomed the return of captain Vincent Kompany ahead of Manchester City's match away to Everton tonight. The centre back has now served a four match suspension following his controversial sending off in City's FA Cup third round loss to Manchester United. In his absence, City were defeated by Liverpool over two legs in their League Cup semi-final, and claimed narrow victories over Wigan and Tottenham in the league.

City skipper Kompany celebrates after beating Man Utd in an EPL game
at Old Trafford recently. Pic/Getty Images

Speaking to The Evening Standard, he said: "He (Kompany) has been an unbelievable miss. He is our captain and he and Joleon (Lescott) have been our best central defensive partnership this season."

Micah Richards

With Kolo Toure away with the Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations, 21-year-old Stefan Savic has featured in Kompany's place, but the inexperienced Montenegro international has appeared vulnerable, making mistakes that have led to goals for Tottenham and Liverpool.

The Belgian international, however, has been in commanding form throughout the season with Richards pointing out his performances in the big games. He continued: "He has played well in the big games and is a leader so it will be amazing to have him back and we can't wait to play with him again. He has still been coming in the changing room before games and saying how he feels we can improve, and what he would do if he was on the pitch, so he has still been an influence.

"All the players and staff wanted him to play and he was kicking himself because it was another harsh decision to give him the ban. I am sure when he comes back he will give 110% and help us back to winning ways."

Key fixtures
Swansea vs chelsea
tottenham vs wigan
Wolves vs liverpool
Man utd vs stoke