London - Manchester City's woes continued on Friday when captain Vincent Kompany, who has played in every minute of their Premier League campaign, was ruled out of the visit to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday with a calf injury.
The league champions, who have won just once in five matches in all competitions, will also be without David Silva and Aleksandar Kolarov for the match at Loftus Road, but Frank Lampard returns to the squad after recovering from a thigh injury.
Belgium international Kompany injured his calf during City's abysmal performance when they lost 2-1 at home to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday, and is ruled out even though he stayed on the pitch until the end of the match against the Russians.
Coach Manuel Pellegrini, whose side are third in the Premier League, six points behind leaders Chelsea, told reporters: "He has a calf problem. It is not serious but I don't know if he will be ready for his international squad."
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Belgium are playing a friendly against Iceland and a Euro 2016 qualifier against Wales next week.
Pellegrini is now likely to call on Martin Demichelis and Eliaquim Mangala to form the central defensive partnership against QPR, who have shown signs of improvement recently despite being only one place off the bottom of the table.
City's form, however, has nosedived.
After scoring a flattering 4-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Oct. 18, they let a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 with CSKA in Moscow, then lost 2-1 at West Ham United in the league before crashing to a 2-0 home defeat to Newcastle United in the Capital One (League) Cup, which they won last season.
They recovered with a 1-0 derby win over Manchester United on Sunday, before falling back down to earth by losing at home to CSKA, leaving their Champions League survival hopes hanging by a thread.
As a result, British media have begun to speculate that Pellegrini's job is in jeopardy, just five months after winning the Premier League title.
The vultures are also circling over midfielder Yaya Toure, who has not played well recently and was one of two City players sent off against CSKA on Wednesday.
Pellegrini, however, defended the tough Ivorian, saying: "He is just coming back from injury. I hope he will return the same way he was before his injury.
"There are a lot of reports Yaya will be sold. Nowhere in this club are we talking about that. Yaya is very important.
"In my 25 years as a manager, the only pressure I have is managing this team. I never feel external pressure."
Pellegrini dismissed any suggestion that City were out of the Champions League despite only collecting two points from their four matches.
He also put a different spin on his team's Premier League performances.
"We have won four out of our last five in the Premier League," he said, "and it is very important to continue adding points.
"It is difficult to make any conclusion when you still have 28 games more to play, we are just in November.
"In November last season we were in a worse position than we are now. You also cannot speak about the Champions League, you can only make a conclusion afterwards.
"Obviously if we don't qualify it will be a step back but you cannot talk about things when you don't know what will happen yet."