How losing Sergio Aguero to injury will affect Manchester City
Just as Manchester City had begun to ratchet up the ruthlessness under Manuel Pellegrini the loss of Sergio Aguero for up to two months with a calf injury has robbed them of their away safe cracker.
City are currently 11/10 favourites in the Premier League outright betting, but could be worth opposing on the road in Aguero’s absence, starting by backing Fulham (+1) at 23/10 at Craven Cottage.
Though blowing ‘the bloody doors’ off is often the easiest way to make off from a homestead with the valuables, it hasn’t worked for the Citizens in recent campaigns.
Simply attempting to blast their way through with expensive firepower has yielded them a less than stellar away record over this season and the last.
It’s one that looks sure to worsen in the absence of Aguero, whose seven goals in his side’s last six road trips account for all but three of the 10 they notched during that period.
While Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko are talented strikers, it’s clear that City lack a certain element of the unpredictability that can be required to pierce well-organised hosts in Aguero’s absence.
They have claimed a solitary point from the Premier League outings he’s failed to start this term.
Leafing back through Aguero’s City scrapbook his teammates’ reliance on his ability to make the difference away from home is nothing new.
Last term the Blue Moon boys failed to win seven of 12 road trips in which Aguero didn’t start and that was a season in which he came nowhere near his recent levels of form.
In 2011/12, the campaign in which his superb contributions did so much to fire his team to the title, City were just as reliant on his aid for successes at the homes of their adversaries, claiming victory in just four of the nine awaydays that didn’t feature the stocky hotshot from the get-go.
Six of the 10 games that the Argentinian looks set to watch from the sick bay, including four of their next five, see the Citizens playing away from their Etihad.
Having only recently dragged their road form from the title challenge-derailing mire they could find themselves just as quickly sinking into the quicksand in his absence.