Man City Focus – Silva an injury doubt ahead of Champions League return

The news coming out of the Manchester City that has dominated headlines this week is that of David Silva’s injury. The Spaniard came home early from international duty this week after an MRI scan showed he was suffering from a slight muscle problem. Silva had complained about feeling slow in training before the procedure outlined the extent of the damage.

The injury to the 27-year-old midfielder means that he is now doubtful to feature in City’s weekend trip to Stoke. Silva’s thigh problem sees him added to a growing injury list at the Etihad Stadium, which already includes captain Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasic, Micah Richards and new signing Martin Demichelis.

The Citizens’ injury woes have seen their progress hindered already this season after losing away at newly promoted Cardiff City. A tough trip to the Britannia Stadium will not have been what Manuel Pellegrini would have wanted as a welcome back to Premier League action this weekend.

One of the main reasons behind the Blues loss in Wales was their makeshift defence. Pellegrini’s growing injury concerns meant that midfielder Javi Garcia was drafted in as a centre-back and a knee injury to new arrival Demichelis may mean that Garcia is asked to fill the gap in defence again. This would be welcome news to ex-City boss Mark Hughes. His Stoke team includes new attacker Marko Arnautovic, who will be out to prove a point after media at the weekend dubbed him ‘the new Balotelli.’

Injured centre-back Demichelis was City’s only piece of business towards the end of the window, which may have alarmed some people. However the Daily Mirror are reporting that striker Sergio Aguero still believes the Blues are strong enough to challenge in the Champions League this season.

City have been handed a more favourable draw in this year’s tournament, having been cast in the so-called group of death two years in a row. Holders Bayern Munich, Viktoria Plzen and CSKA Moscow make up the Citizens group this year. City have been dumped out at the group stages in both of their last two entries into the tournament.

City will travel to the Czech Republic to face Plzen in their first appearance in this year’s group stages and Aguero believes that this could be the year that the Blues make it out of the competition’s starting blocks and perhaps go all the way.

The 25-year-old forward also feels that the club faced tough draws in their last two attempts: “We came up against tough opponents – Bayern and Napoli – two years ago, then Dortmund, Ajax and Real Madrid last year.” However the Argentine hit man does believe that if City can make it through the group stages, then ‘with luck’ they can go all the way

One player who would feature in this year’s Champions League for City is Aleksandar Kolarov. The Serbian international failed to secure a move to Juventus last month and now claims that he is committed to the City cause.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Stoke v Man City

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