Pub discussions could last whole weekends if cases were put forward as to who was the best footballer in the Premier League.
Is it Sergio Aguero, who could have won a couple of Golden Boots by now if it wasn’t for his weak hamstrings? Is it Steven Gerrard for his importance and longevity to Liverpool? Is it Yaya Toure given how his power and athleticism can single-handedly take matches away from the opposition? Is it Eden Hazard for his dribbling abilities?
Then we have the new raft of summer recruits capable of laying claim to this title. Diego Costa has seven goals in four games, Cesc Fabregas has six assists already, Angel Di Maria has galvanised Manchester United and Radamel Falcao is yet to be properly unleashed.
One name that may not be given more than five minutes of discussion is David Silva, who is far more important than he is generally credited to be at Manchester City.
Silva averaged more key passes per game than any other player in each of the last two Premier League seasons and was only marginally bettered by Juan Mata in the 2011/12 campaign.
He was the only player to average more than three chances created per game last season and he retained a pass accuracy of over 88 per cent.
What lets the Spaniard down is that he is yet to reach double figures in for league goals or assists in a single season, which is a disappointment for a player so pivotal to the attacking structure of a title-challenging side.
He is too unselfish to shoot most of the time and his key passes are often the defence-splitting ball to a teammate, who then plays the final, much simpler, pass to gain the set-up for a goal.
The 28-year-old did have his best return to date last season though, scoring eight goals and setting up another nine. He is due a big impact this season too, having failed to assist and scoring one of Man City’s seven Premier League goals thus far.
Three of the last four Man City games that Silva has netted in have been the opening goal and it’s 9/1 that he breaks the deadlock here. Alternatively, it is 13/4 that he bags at any time in 90 minutes at the Etihad.
The problem for Silva is that much of his best work tends to go unnoticed.
He has started the season off the left in a 4-4-2 for Man City, given licence to roam laterally into pockets of space to influence play.
Silva was especially brilliant at this in the 3-1 victory over Liverpool at the Etihad in August, where his wandering into unmanned areas regularly highlighted the defensive positional frailties of Steven Gerrard.
Nemanja Matic will be far more solid for Chelsea and assuming that Jose Mourinho picks Ramires alongside him, instead of the less disciplined Fabregas, Silva is unlikely to enjoy the same influence.
Gary Neville highlighted on the latest instalment of Monday Night Football how Fabregas tended to go in pursuit of the ball rather than mark space and that gave opposing midfielders room to run into.
If Fabregas does this alongside Matic against Man City, Silva is sure to take greater advantage than Swansea’s Jonjo Shelvey.
The obvious other problem with picking Silva off the left is that his direct opponent will be Branislav Ivanovic against Chelsea, who is showing a new lease of attacking intent this season. Ivanovic has already had five goal attempts and eight touches in the opposition penalty box.
Tracking back is not Silva’s forte and City may be better playing Aleksandar Kolarov or James Milner down the left side, to prevent Ivanovic doubling up down the Chelsea right.
Silva could simply switch flanks to the right, where he could perform the role of a modern wide player, drifting infield to influence play and fire off shots.
However, with the right-footed Cesar Azpilicueta the likely Chelsea left-back, he would actually prefer tracking a player infield, rather than showing them down the line. Jesus Navas may pose the biggest threat to Azpilicueta, although Samir Nasri is set to get the nod in this position.
The final and best place to start Silva would be the same as against FC Bayern Munchen in the Champions League, in the number-ten role off a lone striker.
Against a Bayern team that had the know-how and experience of Xabi Alonso and Philipp Lahm in protective midfield positions, Silva completed all 31 of his first-half passes and 98 per cent of those that he attempted throughout the match.
This is a phenomenal return in such a tight and congested area, especially when many aren’t simple sideways passes under no pressure.
He could still roam across the pitch from this position, without any of the defensive concerns that come attached with playing out wide.
The main problem against FC Bayern was that Edin Dzeko, who doesn’t have the pace or the willingness to run in behind and thrive off of Silva’s passing abilities, was Man City’s lone striker.
Sergio Aguero is much more on Silva’s wavelength and given he was only used for 16 minutes against FC Bayern, he has to start against Chelsea.
Dzeko only has a single assist and no goals this season, while Aguero has already netted three times in just 187 minutes of action. It seems nailed on that the Argentine striker will start, the question is whether it will be alongside Dzeko in a 4-4-2 or with Silva behind in a 4-4-1-1?
The latter would give City the best chance of ending the last remaining 100 per cent record in the Premier League and bwin are offering the top industry price on Manuel Pellegrini’s men securing the three points at 6/4.
Chelsea did the league double over the Citizens last season and can be backed at 17/10 to make it three successive league victories, with the draw on offer at 23/10.
Meanwhile, 15/2 is the price that Silva scores in a Man City victory. If this happens, the 85-cap Spaniard may finally start to get some of the recognition that his talent deserves.