After a turbulent couple of weeks, Manchester City are beginning to show signs of their former menacing selves in the Premier League.
Two emphatic victories on either side of the international break saw the Citizens net 11 times whilst conceding only two against Newcastle United and new boys Bournemouth.
However, it was said international break that has left a sour taste in the mouth of many City fans. Despite the European qualifiers giving England supporters plenty to smile about, the Three Lions keeping up their 100% record with comfortable wins over Estonia and Lithuania, it was events in other international games that have worried the Sky Blues.
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In Argentina’s defeat to Ecuador nearly two weeks ago, City goal-machine Sergio Aguero was stretchered off after only 22 minutes - a woeful site for club and country.
City fans will be all too familiar with the striker’s injury problems that have plagued him in recent seasons and arguably prevented him from cementing his reputation as the best striker in world football.
The sight of their talisman clutching his left leg will be frustrating for the Etihad faithful and his predicted return date of November 21 means City will be without their main goal threat for some tricky fixtures.
Just a few days later, news that David Silva was taken off early in Spain’s clash with Luxembourg added insult to injury. The playmaker is thought to have aggravated a reoccurring ankle problem and expected to return at the end of the month.
These injury concerns come at a bad time for the two-time Premier League champions, with Manuel Pellegrini’s side facing tough games in the upcoming weeks. City host Sevilla in a crucial Champions League clash on Wednesday night, before crossing the city to battle bitter rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford over the weekend.
As a result, City will now be looking towards their strength in depth to guide them through the next month of fixtures.
There is no question the side will be weakened by the absence of Aguero and Silva, the former scoring five against Newcastle last month, but Pellegrini has a talented squad at his disposal and the onus should now be on players like Wilfried Bony, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne to provide the firepower.
The game against Bournemouth last weekend will be encouraging, with Sterling scoring a hat-trick and Bony netting a brace – but with the greatest of respects to the Cherries, City now have to face much sturdier opponents in a game that could make or break their Champions League campaign and a local derby where pride and bragging rights are on the line.
A team with City’s quality and aspirations should be able to cope without a couple of their players - every team has to deal with injuries - but players like Silva and Aguero are not easy to replace.
City fans will be praying for speedy recoveries.