Premier League: Man City keep faith in Argentine duo

Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez both scored in their latest outing

On the evidence of pre-season, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez will lead Manchester City's title defence...

"Edin Dzeko is the most vulnerable of the champions’ forwards if they need to shift one to accommodate a new arrival like Robin van Persie, who is 1.3130/100 to leave Arsenal."

While it is tempting to overanalyse the scraps of club football that the summer provides, there is a limit on how much to read into friendlies. Federico Macheda for instance is unlikely to start the season as Manchester United's first-choice striker.

However, it can be a helpful albeit sketchy indicator, and given all the speculation over Manchester City's attacking options for the upcoming campaign, it feels significant that Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez have played four successive games in tandem.

One factor in their constant deployment is Mario Balotelli's absence from their tour as a result of his prolonged Euro 2012 involvement. Even so, it is unusual for selection to remain so consistent at a time of the year when experimentation reigns supreme.

It would appear to confirm the widely-held suspicion that Edin Dzeko is the most vulnerable of the champions' forwards if they need to shift one to accommodate a new arrival like Robin van Persie, who is 1.3130/100 to leave Arsenal in this window.

It also suggests that, having looked a lock for a summer exit for the majority of 2011/12, Tevez' positive contribution alongside Aguero in the run-in has secured him a stay of execution, with that combination receiving further chances to captivate.

Roberto Mancini was critical of his former captain before the latest friendly, a 3-1 victory over Malaysia in which both Argentine internationals scored and were praised by their boss.

He said: "I don't think I can change Carlos. I just want respect, for me and for the club. We don't play and work because we earn some money - we start to play when we are young because we like football. I hope Carlos understands that maybe he made some mistakes."

The comments are intriguing, as they confirm that the title-winning coach is still bemused by Tevez's demeanour and resigned to his inability to change it. Continually picking him regardless hints that Mancini has concluded that the 28-year-old's ability outweighs the irritation of the sideshow.

Tevez is 23.022/1 to be Premier League top scorer in 2012/13, with Manchester City 2.3211/8 to finish first.

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles