Man City could pay European price for closing gap to Chelsea

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Heading into the evening kickoff knowing that Chelsea had finally slipped up, the pressure on Manchester City to beat Everton at home cranked up a notch.

Their plight was made all the more tough as quickly as the second minute, when the Sergio Aguero twisted his knee in an early challenge and departed the scene.

A questionable penalty decision against Phil Jagielka provided Yaya Toure with the chance to score the game’s only goal, but while the gap in the Premier League title race is now just three points, City’s involvement in the Champions League could be in serious jeopardy.

Manuel Pellegrini ruled his in-form Argentine striker out of the pivotal trip to Roma on Wednesday night, where his side are 7/4 to win, and aired fears that Aguero could be out for some time with ligament damage.

The diminutive striker’s absence means City will head to the Italian capital with their attacking lynchpin, their skipper Vincent Kompany and their creative force David Silva all unavailable for selection.

Add to that the rusty fitness levels of Edin Dzeko and the injured hamstring of Stevan Jovetic and it’s clear that those odds to win in Rome are quite generous.

Toure, who himself required treatment during the Everton clash and was seen hobbling around the pitch late on, will no doubt shoulder much of the responsibility for City’s chances in the midweek clash, something that he has not taken to with much gusto this season.

During a month of frantic fixtures, Aguero’s injury could prove telling in the battle to lift the Premier League title. Just as the gap to Chelsea has been bridged, the 21/10 shots could see their chances disappear again should their leading scorer see an extended period in the treatment room.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.