Man City must replace Silva creativity to stay title favourites

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In a Family Fortunes poll of 100 people, if asked who is the most creative player in the Premier League, the survey would probably say that Mesut Ozil was the top answer.

Other prominent inclusions would surely be Juan Mata and Luis Suarez, but it is David Silva that should be one of the answers that wins one of the family members a trip on a murder mystery weekend.

Silva should also come comfortably top among the answers to this question. In his debut Premier League season, Silva provided an average of 2.9 key passes per game, which was a figure that was marginally bettered by Mata.

Last season, Silva moved into the top spot with 3.3 key passes per game, despite being widely considered to have endured a below-par campaign.

He has improved even further in the current campaign, compiling an average of 3.9 key passes per game. Suarez and Ozil are the next Premier League Picassos, but their creativity stops at just three key passes in each game.

Meanwhile, since debuting in the Premier League, Silva has created 249 scoring opportunities from open play, which is 72 more than any other player in this period.

From viewing these statistics, it is understandable where Manchester City are caught short when the diminutive Spaniard is unavailable.

Silva’s absence in the defeat to Sunderland was his eighth of the season and City have only won three of these fixtures. This is in comparison to winning seven of the nine in which he has started.

Things weren’t much better last season either, as City were 20 per cent more likely to win a game Silva started, up against one where he didn’t start.

Given that Silva could be missing for as long as a month because of a calf injury, City desperately need to find someone else to provide the ammunition in the final third to Sergio Aguero.

Jesus Navas tends to play too wide and isn’t as effective when dribbling inside and James Milner ‘s strengths lie in his workrate and endeavour over his creativity and eye for a killer pass.

This means that Samir Nasri may have to step up and look for possession more in tight spaces, otherwise Man City will be dropping more points across the upcoming fixtures, with Tottenham and Swansea next in the Premier League at the Etihad.

Despite Silva’s absence, Man City remain favourites to win the Premier League at 11/4, while it is 4/6 that they triumph when hosting Tottenham next.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.