The burly stretcher-bearers under whose care David Silva left the Etihad turf on Monday night may well have carried Manchester City’s Premier League title hopes with them.
While the exact length of time the man with the highest chances created per game average in the top flight is out remains uncertain, he looks sure to miss their upcoming road trip to in-form Crystal Palace.
It adds up to some promising news for 9/50 outright betting favourites Liverpool.
Tony Pulis’ men recorded their fifth successive victory against West Ham last time out, a streak that includes two top-five scalps, yet they can be backed at a generous 7/4 in bwin’s double-chance betting.
Even with Silva (the club’s leading assister) in the line-up, the born-again Eagles pushed the 2011/12 champions all the way in a narrow 0-1 loss at the Etihad earlier this term.
It was the sole occasion during a 13-game home winning streak in which Manuel Pellegrini’s troops failed to notch a minimum of two goals.
Breaking down the stubborn south Londoners on home turf without Silva could make that uphill slog seem like a run down the dangerously-thawed Sochi Super-G track.
Selhurst Park has morphed into Croydon’s answer to Fort Knox under Pulis.
Palace boast the Premier League’s fourth-best home goals conceded per game average this season if only the 11 games under the Welshman are counted.
Should the Eagles nick at least a point from City and Liverpool justify 7/10 favouritism in beating Chelsea at Anfield earlier the same afternoon the Reds would be eight points clear with two games left to play.
Only the blue moonies would then be able to catch them and Brendan Rodgers’ side would have to muster less than two points from their final two games against Palace and free-falling Newcastle in order for that to happen.