Sergio Aguero grabs a goal and assist as City return to winning ways at home to West Brom. David Silva is stretchered off with his recurring ankle injury, whilst Yaya Toure is expected back in training ahead of the weekend trip to Palace. Pablo Zabaleta and Martin Demichelis also find the net, though a strike from Graham Dorrans ensures the hosts have failed to register a shut-out in five attempts:
Aguero Steers City to Victory
Manuel Pellegrini dropped Alvaro Negredo and handed Edin Dzeko a start alongside the Argentine in a 4-4-2 formation last night. Back amongst the goals for the first time since Gameweek 23, Aguero supplied the assist for City’s opener and netted the second before being withdrawn just after the hour mark, as his manager continues to court caution with his game time. With the maximum bonus also accrued, Aguero’s display highlights the fact that, whilst he may not be given the full 90 minutes just yet, he’s more than capable of delivering the returns regardless. As doubts hang over City’s other main men, his appeal is set to rise ahead of the upcoming double as the clamour for his acquisition intensifies amongst Fantasy managers.
Silva Concern for Pellegrini
After being all but ruled out by his manager in Friday afternoon’s press conference, David Silva made a rapid recovery in time for yesterday evening’s encounter. The Spaniard’s night lasted 69 minutes before a challenge from the Baggies’ Morgan Amalfitano saw him land awkwardly on the very ankle that forced him to miss last week’s home clash against Sunderland. Stretchered from the pitch in some discomfort, there will be real question marks over Silva’s chances of making next weekend’s trip to Palace, and with Pellegrini previously admitting his playmaker is unable to feature twice within a week, many owners may be looking for an exit route.
After the game, Pellegrini rolled out an update on Silva’s situation:
“Hopefully it will be a short-term injury. It is hard to tell without the doctors giving their assessment. David played the last games with pain in his ankle. That is why it was impossible for him to play against Sunderland because after three days he can’t recover from his problem. We will see tomorrow [Wednesday] what happens with him. His injury started with a kick some weeks ago and every week he plays in the last game with pain.”
Reports suggest Yaya Toure is due be back in training tomorrow, though, with the Ivorian potentially in line for a return to action in time for Sunday’s trip to Selhurst Park, providing he can step up his recovery from a groin problem.
City Defenders in the Points
It’s five games without a clean sheet for Pellegrini’s charges after the Baggies breached Joe Hart’s goal last night. City’s defensive regulars still managed to pick up the points, though, with Pablo Zabaleta and Martin Demichelis each grabbing a goal, whilst Vincent Kompany chipped in with an assist and a single bonus point – whilst their defensive resolve has certainly lessened, owners will be content for now after last night’s returns. The same can hardly be said for Aleksandar Kolarov, though – omitted from the starting XI for the fourth time in the last six games, the Serbian was afforded a two-minute cameo just before the final whistle, thus depriving Fantasy managers of a replacement off the bench. For many, last night’s frustrating turn of events may well be the final straw.
Dorrans in the Goals Again
The Scot grabbed his side’s consolation in last night’s 3-1 defeat, taking his tally to a couple of goals in the last four fixtures. With the maximum bonus points also picked up, Dorrans’ 10-point haul was his highest of the season and suggests that, at 4.4, he could be worth considering for the upcoming double Gameweek 37 as a means to free up cash elsewhere. With upcoming home showdowns against West Ham and Stoke also still to follow, his contribution could be key for a Baggies side that had won three and drawn one of the five matches prior to last night’s defeat.
Defensive Concerns for Mel
The Baggies were without Gareth McAuley for the Etihad encounter after the Northern Ireland international picked up a calf problem in training late last week. Pepe Mel’s problems at the back continued after Liam Ridgewell sustained an ankle injury which could even keep him out for the rest of the season. Chris Brunt owners won’t be too pleased by the news that he is expected to shift into the left-back berth if Ridgewell is indeed ruled out for the weekend game against West Ham.