Both Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini found cause to bemoan the international break, seeing respective stars Aaron Ramsey and Stevan Jovetic sustain injuries while representing their country.
The wrinkled pair will pit their wits when Arsenal host Manchester City next, with the match-betting spread reading 39/20 about the Gunners, 7/5 for the visitors and 5/2 for the draw.
Whatever the outcome, the pair are likely to be without arguably their most in-form individuals from the early exchanges, but who of Ramsey or Jovetic will be missed most?
The answer is obvious: Jovetic.
Each accounts for 40 per cent of their club’s goals so far, but, in terms of capability to replace their bandaged star, the Gunners are certainly better off.
In the central-midfield department Arsenal are stocked better than most, with Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tomas Rosicky among the first-rate candidates vying to replace the stricken Welshman.
The Citizens, by contrast, have only Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero left in their striking ranks following their deadline day axing of Alvaro Negredo.
Kun can hardly be relied upon for fitness, given his frequent forays and extended stays in the sick bay last term.
In light of this, Pellegrini has afforded the Argentine just the one start this season.
Further cause for concern is the Bosnian bulldozer with whom Aguero will split line-leading responsibilities.
The main quandary he creates is he’s yet to locate the back of the net this season.
Dzeko’s failure to influence City’s victory over Liverpool in any meaningful way resulted in him being relegated to the bench for their home loss to Stoke, with Jovetic entrusted to carry out goalscoring duties.
With one striker struggling for form and question marks hanging over the fitness of another, the champions may have to turn to their midfield ranks if they are to topple the Gunners, who have a pair of flying frontmen more than capable of puncturing the away team’s backline.
Chilean Alexis Sanchez has two goals in as many matches as he gradually acclimatises to Premier League rigours, while Danny Welbeck’s self-esteem has probably never been higher following his transfer to the Emirates and brace for England against Switzerland last time out.