Manchester City are on the verge of clinching the Premier League title this week, needing just four points to pick up their second title in three years.
Their first Premier League triumph was the most dramatic of them all, with Sergio Aguero scoring a winner deep into stoppage time in the final game of the season to steal the title on goal difference from their neighbours, Manchester United.
Aguero has been fantastic for City this season—when he's played. The Argentine striker has had setback after setback with constant injuries. In total, he's missed 14 Premier League games, so it shows the strength of Man City's squad that it can sit on the verge of winning the title having missed its star striker for such a large portion of the season.
In the early stages of the season, before picking up an injury that kept him out for five league games, Aguero was superb. He scored 13 goals in his first 15 games in the Premier League and was rivalling Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez for the Golden Boot. His form was coinciding with City's, who were beating teams to a pulp.
They beat Arsenal 6-3, Norwich 7-0 and Tottenham 6-0. That's just three results of many too. Prior to Christmas, they were favourites to lift the title, as had they carried on their scoring form, they would probably have wrapped up the title by mid-March.
However, Aguero's absence from the side stretched even further as, after missing five games, he returned for cameo appearances in two more before sitting out for a whole two months, missing eight games. He returned against Liverpool at Anfield but was on the losing side as the resurgent Reds took control of the title race.
He has had a huge impact on City's season, both on and off the pitch, so how have Manchester City done both with and without Aguero in their side?
With Sergio Aguero in the City side, whether it's from the start or off the bench, their record speaks for itself. He's played 22 league games this season, with City winning 15 of them. That's a win percentage of 68.
With Aguero on the field, City have drawn three and lost four as well, showing a commanding percentage of his games as wins. He has a big impact in those victories as well, scoring in 12 of the 15 wins he's been a part of. Aguero has converted a staggering 25.4 percent of his chances this season, proving how lethal he is when given an opportunity.
In the matches he's played, Man City have scored 66 goals, conceding just 26. That's a staggering average of three goals scored per game. If you keep that up for a season and keep your defence tight, no one is stopping you from lifting the title.
If a team averages three goals per game, then it takes four from the opposition to beat it, which is almost impossible.
Aguero plays a big part in how City set up and attack. His pace, power and movement are perfect for their quick countering system, but he can also boss more powerful defenders. He's small in stature but strong on the ball. His eye for goal and finishing ability is astounding too.
Just take a look at his goal placement.
If Aguero had been fit for the entire season, City probably would have already wrapped the league title up now. He could still play a huge role on the final day, though.
Aguero's injuries have been a frustrating part of City's season. Their early-season form was in part due to the Argentine's scoring ability, and his absence from February to April was a big miss. However, City haven't struggled as much as their competitors would have hoped for without the forward.
City have missed Aguero for 14 matches, winning 10 of those, drawing two and losing the other two. They've won 71 percent of their matches without Aguero and lost just 14 percent. That's better than with him in the side, which is strange. However, a difference of 3 percent between 14 and 22 games is not much.
While City have won a higher percentage of games without the Argentine in the side, they've averaged fewer goals. In the 14 games, Man City have scored 30, which is an average of 2.14 per game. Their goal difference with Aguero in the side is plus-40, but without him, it stands at plus-19. Quite a difference.
Without Aguero, they've dropped points against Arsenal and Chelsea but beaten Liverpool and Manchester United.
It is hard to say really, as the figures are so close. Aguero's job is to score goals, and City do score more with him in the side. Ask any City fan, and he or she will tell you that City are better with him in the team. After all, he is a world-class striker, so any team would benefit having him in the side.
The only difference is the greater win percentage without him in the side, but he is a key aspect of this team. Due to the sheer number of goals City score with him in the side and the impact he has on victories, it is clear that the title favourites benefit having him in the side much more than they do without.
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