Defoe and Balotelli both facing six weeks on the sidelines

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Jermain Defoe and Mario Balotelli may have both fancied their chances of finishing the season as the Premier League’s top goalscorer, but they may now struggle to do so after being ruled out of action for six weeks.

Balotelli has yet to feature for Manchester City in the Premier League since moving from Inter Milan and has been out of action since injuring a knee on his debut in the Europa League against FC Timisoara.

The 20-year-old has now returned to Italy for surgery after initial treatment failed to cure the problem.

A club statement said: “The Italian’s injury is to the lateral meniscus, one of the two most crucial structures in the knee.

“It was hoped that the symptoms would settle down, but once Balotelli began to step up his recovery programme it became clear that action would need to be taken.”

He is now 50/1 to top the scoring charts at the end of the season, and is guaranteed to miss the league clash at home to Chelsea, but could recover in time to feature at Eastlands against Arsenal on October 24th.

Meanwhile, Defoe could also be absent for Tottenham for the next six weeks after damaging ankle ligaments helping England win 3-1 in Switzerland.

The problem is set to rule him out of Tottenham’s first three Champions League games and is part of a double blow for Harry Redknapp as Michael Dawson also faces a spell on the sidelines after becoming injured on international duty.

Defoe has yet to find the target in three league fixtures to date but remains 16/1 to be crowned the Premier League’s top scorer.

Both strikers will also be hoping to help their clubs finish in the Premier League’s top four this season, with City 8/13 and Spurs 7/2 to accomplish this. See the whole market.

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