The sight, or rather lack, of Sergio Aguero returning to the Camp Nou pitch for the second half of Manchester City’s clash will doubtless have filled fans with trepidation.
While the extent of the Argentine’s muscle injury has yet to be determined, losing him for a significant amount of season’s remaining games is far from ideal.
Yet pessimists of a Citizens persuasion may be interested to know that six of the Sky Blues’ nine losses this season have come with Aguero in the starting line-up.
That equates to just shy of a quarter of the games in which he’s featured from the off, a startling number given his evident abilities and the regard in which he’s held.
Conversely, his periods with the nurse have seen his comrades lose just 15 per cent of their outings.
Aguero’s colleagues swap the glamour of floodlit Catalunya for the austerity of springtime in Humberside and the battling qualities provided by Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko in his absence will be vital if they are to secure a 1/2-rated victory.
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It could be that the title-chasers are less defeatable in Aguero’s absence due to the greater willingness of his playmates to perspire and inspire in more equal measure.
The comparatively gargantuan pair offer far more in terms of elbow grease than ‘Kun’, averaging 1.8 and 2.7 aerial duel victories per league outing, far outshining the 0.5 offered by the injured party.
Dzeko in particular seems to be emancipated by the absence of the number one hound in the strikers’ kennel too.
A whopping 12 of his 17 City strikes in all competitions came when Aguero wasn’t on the pitch.
The Bundesliga-bred Bosnian behemoth is 13/10 to bag at any time at the KC Stadium, with the bwin odds boffins going 2/1 about that goal complimenting a Man City win.