Manchester City’s ambitions of returning to the top of the Premier League table on Saturday have been compromised by confirmation that Sergio Aguero will miss the match against Sunderland with a foot injury.
The Argentine forward is the title hopefuls’ top scorer in his first season in English football having netted 24 times in 32 starts in all competitions since his move from Atletico Madrid, putting him clear of Edin Dzeko (18) and Mario Balotelli (15).
Roberto Mancini was unwilling to elaborate on how he suffered the setback though, only noting that: “It is a stupid injury. It was not his fault. But he can’t play with this injury; for one day, 10 days or two weeks. I don’t know.”
The problem already ruled him out of last weekend’s trip to Stoke, where they were held 1-1, allowing Manchester United to build a three-point lead, however Mancini will expect his absence to be less keenly felt at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City have won all 15 of their Premier League home games this season and their latest triumph against Chelsea saw them set a divisional record of 20 straight victories as hosts, so they are 1/4 to get the better of Sunderland.
Aguero’s injury does increase interest in the scorer markets, in which Balotelli is rated the favourite to break the deadlock at 3/1, despite spending some time in Italy in midweek, during which he gatecrashed an Inter press conference.
After playing and scoring for the reserves in midweek, there is a possibility that Carlos Tevez will benefit from his compatriot’s misfortune and start his first Premier League encounter since the 3-0 win over Wigan on September 10.
Tevez, who hasn’t notched in any of his seven appearances this term, is 7/2 to open his account with the first goal and 4/5 to fire at any time.