Manchester City bested Manchester United for the Premier League championship last season, and expectations were high for a team with so much young talent. City’s strikers have failed to produce through the first half of the season, though, and it trails United by seven points in the standings.
While Aguero is tied for the team lead in goals, he’s not lived up to the lofty expectations the 24-year-old centre-forward established last year. He scored 30 goals last season—his first with City—but is on pace for less than 20 this year. With the hamstring injury Aguero sustained on New Year’s Day against Stoke, his status is very much up in the air.
Team doctors will make a determination of the extent of Aguero’s injury as early as today, but he’s already been ruled out for the squad’s Jan. 5 match against Watford. Early indications are that Aguero is questionable for City’s showdown against Arsenal on Jan. 13.
City’s strikers have been scoring at a much slower pace than last season, and Aguero’s injury will create more opportunities for Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli—who could return from illness in time for the Watford matchup—to establish some continuity and gain momentum with Aguero
Dzeko has been playing well in the squad’s last two matches. He and Aguero combined for five of City’s seven goals in that span.
Early speculation suggests Aguero’s hamstring injury won’t keep him on the shelf for a long period of time. It may be just enough time to re-acclimate Balotelli, and allow the team’s strikers to get some extra scoring looks.
City boasts one of the best groups of strikers in the Premier League, and it’s hard to imagine the scoring drought will last through the remainder of the season. Aguero’s absence should at least give an
indication of how much trouble City could be in should its scoring dry spell last beyond Aguero’s return.
With half the season yet to be played, there are still plenty of matches for Manchester City to gain ground on United and put together some complete performances.
Aguero is a huge part of the team, and it’s Tevez, Dzeko and Balotelli who must step up with Aguero on the sidelines. If the trio can shoulder the load for the next couple matches, Aguero’s return should be the spark City needs to break out of its dry spell and challenge Manchester United for another title.
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