Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

BLUES ARE READY TO SOUND SILVA SALVO ; Spanish Ace Battling to Be Part of City's Key Game against the Baggies

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

BLUES ARE READY TO SOUND SILVA SALVO ; Spanish Ace Battling to Be Part of City's Key Game against the Baggies

Article excerpt

DAVID Silva is battling to be fit for tonight's last-chance clash with West Brom.

The Blues' brilliant Spanish midfielder has been suffering with an ankle problem since the derby win at Old Trafford a month ago and has been on a restricted training schedule.

With Yaya Toure (adductor) and Jesus Navas (ankle) already ruled out, City are keen to get the inspirational Silva back for a match which the Blues must win to stay in the title race.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini said the signs are positive, as Silva's condition means he should only struggle to play two games a week.

Pellegrini also refuted suggestions that Silva will need an operation to cure the problem following the World Cup finals, which would have put his ability to start next season in some doubt "The doctor has some hopes," said Pellegrini.

"He worked with the physio, and has been able to work part of the session with the squad, so maybe he can play, but it's not sure at the moment."

Silva's importance to City has been illustrated by statistics showing they have only won 58 per cent of games in which he has been absent, and 73 per cent of those he has started.

Yaya Toure is usually flagged up as the Blues' most influential mid-fielder, and he has been short-listed for the PFA Player of the Year award.

But City have not lost any games he has missed and their win percentage actually rises when he is out of the side.

Both men were out in last week's disappointing 2-2 draw with Sunderland, and Samir Nasri - who has been in good form this season - was below par, when many expected him to shoulder Silva's burden of sparking the team.

Pellegrini feels they are better as a pair: "I think it's very important to play both of them together.

Maybe when we play with just one of them the team has less play than when they play together.

"At the moment I think Nasri is doing very well with or without Silva."

Even though this season is still alive, the Blues are already making plans for this summer with Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards, Gareth Barry, Scott Sinclair, Dedryck Boyata, Alex Nimely expected to leave. …

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