After a car crash couple of days for Manchester City, the Sky Blues head to Stamford Bridge on Saturday without new signing Benjamin Mendy and Sergio Aguero in what appears to be one of the landmark fixtures of the season.
Star striker Aguero is set to be out for several months after breaking two ribs after he was involved in a road accident whilst in Amsterdam for a pop concert, just 48 hours ahead of a crucial fixture against Chelsea.
The news of Aguero’s shock injury is a bitter blow for Pep Guardiola and his City side who have been in superb form so far this season and have relied on the Argentine’s goal scoring contributions as the focal point of the Citizens’ success.
However considering the images which have been released of the wrecked taxi that Aguero was travelling in, it seems that City’s top scorer was perhaps fortunate to escape with only relatively minor injuries.
“The City forward was in Holland on his day off and has sustained injuries. He will return to Manchester this morning and his status will be checked ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League clash at Chelsea,” the club said in a statement.
“I will speak to him today. First impression is he has broke his rib,” added Guardiola.
City skipper Vincent Kompany has also been ruled out of the game in west London, the coach confirmed.
“Kompany didn’t make one training session with us for one month. He will meet with Belgium doctors and come back. He won’t play.”
— Roeland Roovers (@r0eland) September 29, 2017
Mendy is also set for a substantial lay off of over nine months after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament during last Saturday’s win against Crystal Palace.
The French defender has been an integral part of Spaniard Guardiola’s plans helping to provide a more effective attacking outlet as well as being much more solid defensively than both Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov from last season.
Moreover, the £51million man, the most expensive defender of all time, will be further missed as he is the only recognised left back in the senior squad, so either Fabian Delph or Brazilian Danilo will have to step in.
In spite of their injury woes, City have been in deadly form this season, not losing a game and scoring freely in the process, amassing an impressive 24 goals in six wins this month.
However, Saturday’s fixture will undoubtedly be City’s sternest test as Chelsea have recovered magnificently since their opening day loss to Burnley.
Worryingly from a City perspective, Chelsea’s superb Champions League 2-1 midweek victory away at Atletico Madrid has demonstrated that Antonio Conte’s side have unbelievable defensive and attacking qualities as they dominated for large patches of the game against a notoriously feisty La Liga outfit.
Additionally, City’s recent form against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge would suggest that Pep Guardiola’s side will have their work cut out, especially considering that star winger Eden Hazard looks to have returned to full fitness after a lengthy lay off.
However, Chelsea are not without selection issues themselves. David Luiz is still suspended and there are suggestions that Chelsea’s top scorer, Alvaro Morata, could also miss out through injury after picking up a knock during Wednesday’s fixture.
With both sides’ injury woes and given the form of the two teams, Saturday’s game is poignantly set up to be a massive game for both clubs.
With City still undefeated this season, a loss on Saturday could be a turning point.
However, if Guardiola’s side were to pick up an unlikely victory, City would extend the gap between themselves and the West London club to six points, a massive tally with only seven games played.
Additional reporting by Dane Massey.
Image courtesy of Puma via YouTube, with thanks.