David Silva's Injury Huge Blow to Manchester City's Lingering Title Hopes

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David Silva's Injury Huge Blow to Manchester City's Lingering Title Hopes
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The Manchester Evening News' Stuart Brennan revealed earlier today that Manchester City midfielder David Silva is set to be out for two to three weeks with an ankle injury sustained in the club's 3-1 home win over West Brom.

 

 

That prognosis would see him miss City's next two away matches, at Crystal Palace and Everton, with only an outside chance of featuring in the Aston Villa match at the Etihad on May 7.

City, who can still win the title if leaders Liverpool slip to defeat in any of their final three games and they win all of their remaining matches, now face an even more difficult task without their finest attacking player.

In recent weeks, Silva has become even more central to Manuel Pellegrini's side, with a switch inside into the No. 10 role just behind the striker increasing his influence.

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His speed of thought and ability to find teammates with his wonderful passing ability has been the defining feature of City's play of late. Quite how he has found himself omitted from the PFA Player of the Year Award shortlist is a mystery to those who see him play regularly.

The main concern for the Blues is that Silva would have been particularly important in the next two away matches against sides capable of defending rigidly as a team.

Finding a way through Tony Pulis' Palace has proven difficult for most teams in recent months, and Everton have had their greatest-ever Premier League campaign, surpassing their previous best points total already with three matches to spare.

Silva's ability to keep possession and pick killer passes is City's most potent weapon at present, and could have been the difference in what looks on paper like two tight matches.

One plus for City is the form of Stevan Jovetic, a player capable of operating in a number of roles in the attacking third, and one who could conceivably give the team some added creativity and ingenuity without Silva.

Much like Silva, Jovetic demonstrates a speed of thought that few players can match, and every time he has played for City recently, he has looked dangerous. He likes to drop deep, turn quickly and attack the opposition, and he may well now find his role increased in the absence of the Spaniard.

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Sergio Aguero was also excellent against West Brom, looking sharp and hungry from the off. Indeed, it wasn't surprising to see him notch his 27th goal in all competitions after just 10 minutes of the game.

If Aguero and Jovetic can stretch the form they showed against the Baggies over the remaining matches this season, Silva's injury may not impact them quite as much as first feared, but there's no doubt that, of all the players on City's books, he would be the last player they would have wanted to go down with an injury.

There's no room for error. If City want to stop Liverpool becoming the first side since Everton in 1984 to jump from seventh to champions in the space of 12 months, they are likely to have to win all their games, as well as hoping Brendan Rodgers' men fall to a defeat.

Aguero and Jovetic's importance in that quest has now grown significantly.

 

Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here: @RobPollard.

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