Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is contemplating recalling captain Vincent Kompany and midfielder Fernandinho for his side’s trip to Burnley after benching the pair following their dressing room flare up.
It is alleged the duo exchanged words during the interval of the Citizens’ 2-1 defeat at Liverpool and were subsequently canned for Leicester’s visit to the Etihad, but after this minor disciplinary measure, the pair may well feature at Turf Moor as the club aim to justify their 11/25 favouritism.
Statistically speaking, reinstating the warring twosome may prove a foolish move, especially with regards to the skipper.
Since December, without the Belgian battering ram City have fared much better.
They’re yet to lose when he hasn’t made the team from the start of the 12th month, as opposed to four defeats from the ten matches of the when he has been in the XI.
By contrast, they’ve triumphed on eight instances when he’s been absent, but won a paltry twice when he has started.
Furthermore, when the forces of Belgian and Brazilian combine (which has happened seven times this term) City have savoured victory in less than half of the outings.
However, there’s a further factor warning Pellegrini against picking this feuding duo.
Club sides who aim to rebuild fractious relationships on the pitch following a well documented fall out have tended to suffer in the immediate aftermath, as these examples will attest.
Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer – Newcastle
An unsightly and unprecedented on-pitch skirmish between these two resulted in both being sent off in the Toon’s 3-0 defeat against Aston Villa.
They made the same teamsheet just once more in 2004/05, a 4-1 defeat against Sporting, then played together four more times in the following season.
The first three of these ended in defeat, before a late-stage 3-1 win over Wigan snapped the streak.
Craig Bellamy and John Arne Riise – Liverpool
A famous Reds victory was recorded in the next game to fall after the Welshman attacked his flame-haired colleague with a golf club, with both players scoring in a 2-1 win away win at Barcelona.
However, they won just one of the five matches they were pitched in alongside one another in the 2006/07 season after the aforementioned Catalan conquest.
John Hartson and Eyal Berkovic – West Ham
In a display of aggression capable of making the most accustomed to serious violence wince, the son of Swansea volleyed his Israeli compadre in the head following a training ground altercation.
The incident occurred in September 1998 and following the month’s conclusion, the Irons prevailed in four of the nine when they paired the players in the same side before Hartson was sold to Wimbledon.
They went on to finish a Premier League-best of fifth following the Welsh international’s expulsion.