Edin Dzeko delighted to be back playing

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Manchester City splashed out £25 million to sign Wilfried Bony in January, but the Ivorian is not the only fresh striking option for Manuel Pellegrini.

Bosnian star Edin Dzeko was back in the starting 11 for the weekend draw with Hull, and the occasion was his first start in almost two months after a number of injury troubles.

Understandably, the 28-year-old looked rusty on his return to first team duties and was withdrawn just after the hour mark, but he knows he has to find form sooner rather than later.

Striking competition

With Wilfried Bony in line to make his City debut against Newcastle at the weekend and Stevan Jovetic keen to prove Pellegrini was wrong to leave him out of City's Champions League squad, there's huge competition for places.

On Saturday it was Dzeko who was given the nod to start alongside undisputed first choice Sergio Aguero, but if he doesn't find his scoring boots soon he'll quickly be out the team, and that's something he's well aware of.

Speaking to Manchester City's official website ahead of tonight's clash with Stoke, Dzeko vowed to up his game after his weekend return.

Injury return

The former Wolfsburg man explained: "Being out for more than two months is definitely not the best feeling.

“I obviously need some games under my belt so starting against Hull was really good for me. Everything felt OK, but there is much more to come and I need to find my best form again as soon as I can."

As well as Dzeko, City are desperate to find their best form having failed to win any of their previous five games.

That run has allowed Chelsea to pull seven points clear at the top of the table, and with games running out City cannot afford to fall any further behind.

Why was he out for so long?

Since signing for City in 2011, Dzeko has been a reliable goalscorer, having scored a minimum of 15 goals in all competitions in his three full seasons in Manchester.

However, this year he's hit the net just four times, with his only league goals coming in the form of a brace against Hull in September.

Since then injury has plagued his campaign, and Dzeko explained what's kept him out so long.

“I was initially out for five weeks with the first calf injury, and then I injured my left calf just after which was another six weeks so it’s been a long spell," he said.

“It’s been the longest lay-off I’ve had and I’ve been lucky that I’ve  not had any big injuries before – nothing more than two weeks – so this has been a new experience for me.

No home comforts for City

Injury talk aside, Dzeko also attempted to explain why City have struggled at the Etihad Stadium at times this season, including the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Stoke earlier in the campaign.

He said: "We are struggling at home against teams who come to the Etihad to defend in numbers because we have had problems finding a way to create good scoring opportunities  - so maybe it is better we play away just now.

"I doubt Stoke will play the way they did at the Etihad on this occasion. They will be more open on their own pitch and that will suit us.

"We need to start winning and scoring goals again so hopefully we can begin again this evening."

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Manchester City
Edin Dzeko
Premier League

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