Sergio Aguero’s flailing elbows could land him in trouble with the FA ahead of Manchester City’s derby trip to Old Trafford following the international break.
The Argentine was pictured in an altercation with Winston Reid in the Citizens’ 3-1 win over West Ham United, in which he appeared to strike the New Zealander in the face.
Fortunately, Aguero’s combat skills aren’t as sharp as his shooting and he only caught Reid with a glancing blow, yet after referee Andre Marriner failed to take action at the time, he could face retrospective punishment that would rule him out of his side’s visit to Manchester United.
Such news will no doubt delight Jose Mourinho, who’ll be scribbling a speech on fairness and ethics and what have you in case the Man City star receives no suspension.
The Portuguese’s side are 27/20 favourites to snare a vital set of spoils in the 2016/17 title race and that price will certainly appreciate in value should Aguero miss the match.
But City’s impressive record without the Argentine suggests, regardless of whether he takes the field or not, the visitors are the better bet at 19/10.
Aguero missed 17 matches across all competitions last term – City lost just four of them.
Two of these defeats came against Chelsea in the FA Cup and Southampton in the Premier League.
The latter was contested three days before a decisive Champions League semi-final second leg with Real Madrid and an obviously distracted City lost 4-2. The former was a 5-1 drubbing at Stamford Bridge, but again, it was played with more important matches on the horizon and saw City start five youth team stars to face a strong Blues outfit.
Those results aside, their only other setbacks came at Stoke City, where they went down 2-0 to a pair of Marko Arnautovic goals, and at home to Juventus in the Champions League after the Italians stuck twice late on to win 2-1.
Without Aguero in the Premier League last term they won 56% of their matches and a bagged a goalless draw when they visited the Theatre of Dreams.
It was the third time in three seasons in which City avoided defeat on their arch rivals’ patch having twice won in this period and their talisman was omitted from the XI on each instance.