After a sterling attempt at beating Barcelona away to progress to the next stage of the Champions League failed, it could be that Manchester City have more than the cost of exiting that competition to pay.
Sergio Aguero was removed at half time in that match after suffering a muscle injury, but the Citizens were quick to play down the problem claiming that replacing the Argentine with Edin Dzeko at the break was only a precaution.
There’s a very good reason for that nonplussed reaction, and that is Jose Mourinho. Already full title-deciding mind-game mode, the Chelsea boss hasn’t shied away from the chance to wage psychological warfare on Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Imagine the fun he’d have if he knew his 15/8-rated rivals for the Premier League crown were without their most potent striker for season’s run in, at the precise time when their once-flowing goals have dried up.
Chelsea are the 4/6 favourites to win the Premier League but Mourinho insists it is City who should have that price given they have three games in hand.
That could be by the by though if Aguero is ruled out for any length of time, as the stats show that City win more with the former Atletico Madrid man in the side than without him.
Unlike their skipper Vincent Kompany, who City tend to strangely cope without despite being head and shoulders above his centre-back teammates in quality, the Etihad outfit have won 72 percent of their games with Aguero starting this term, compared to just 64 percent without him.
With Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo set to deputise for the injured star, their eight-game goal drought each will seriously worry Pellegrini ahead of a crucial set of fixtures for the Chilean in his debut season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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