If Manchester City are to win the league this season they will have to do so the hard way.
Because, while they are playing the best football in the division right now, they continue to be blighted by injuries.
Sergio Aguero and David Silva, their two main men, are only now returning to the squad after injury. Add them to Delph, Toure, Clichy and Zabaleta, who have also been crocked at times this season, and we can see that team selection hasn’t always been straightforward for the boss this year.
And now Manuel Pellegrini has been told that Frenchman Samir Nasri will be out of the game until February with a serious hamstring injury.
He posted this message on Instagram:
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I will be back better than ever. See you in three months.”
Nasri has been steadily dropping down the pecking order since Manchester City last won the title and would not be regarded as first choice player right now.
But we all know that it’s a squad game these days and Nasri is exactly the sort of player who can come in and make a difference when other options have been exhausted.
Hopefully he can still have a big impact towards the end of the season, when he will probably be needed most.
Indeed, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini will hope that his squad have got their injuries out of the way early to leave them with a clear run for domestic and European honours come spring.