Date: 18th December 2015 at 12:42pm
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Manchester City are still in a fairly promising position despite recent blips.

Leicester City, with their great underdog story, currently lead the pack – with Arsenal and City closely behind.

The two sides meet at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night in what could be a pivotal game in the title race.

Arsenal are a point ahead at this stage, but an away win would be enormous for the Blues – given the fact that not only will they take three big points, but their title rivals will also be stopped in the process.

With all the investment in the summer and a renewed optimism in the side, City should be going into this game at the top of the table. But due to a number of different factors, that is not the case.

The fact is that City were irresistible at the start of the season, well and truly blowing away any side who they came up against.

West Brom and Chelsea both soundly beaten by the same margin, before professional wins against Everton, Watford and Crystal Palace.

But the dreaded international break took its toll and City went off the boil in the absence of key players.

Things look rosier now with the likes of David Silva in the side, yet City are still a level below their early season form.

That has a lot to do with injuries to Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero; two talisman in the Manchester City side.

10th August 2015 - Barclays Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City - Vincent Kompany of Man City celebrates after scoring their 3rd goal - Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

City only conceded one Premier League goal with Kompany in the side

It can be argued that a squad assembled with such favourable funds should perform better without the duo, but the reality is that City are not the same team when their captain and star striker are not playing. Any side would miss players of that calibre.

And with a swift, technical side like Arsenal, City will desperately hope that both Aguero and Kompany are fit for selection.

Aguero has resumed normal training after picking up a heel injury in the Southampton game, just a few matches into his return to the fold, while Kompany has been plagued with calf problems and is almost destined to spend some time on the sidelines each season.

The Argentine brings with him that added flair in a well-rounded attack but it is Kompany, the leader, who leaves a gaping hole in the team when he is not there.

City have spent big on central defenders for two successive years but they don’t look particularly comfortable when the skipper is not marshalling the backline.

With Kompany on the pitch, City have conceded just two goals in all competitions – with one coming in the Premier League against Norwich due to a rare blunder from Joe Hart. Without him, 16 have gone in.

Even Martin Demichelis, who went from zero to hero at the club, now looks shaky again and was given the run-around against Liverpool in November.

It is unclear whether both Aguero and Kompany will return against the Gunners, but irrespective of that, it is a chance for City to make a statement.

It was a major achievement for City to top their Champions League group with a 4-2 win over Monchengladbach, but Manuel Pellegrini’s men haven’t been overly convincing for some period now.

Arsenal away is an unbelievably tough trip for the Blues and has been for a number of years. It seems an even more difficult prospect when you see that City have not won a game away from home since the Sevilla victory in early November.

A win against fellow title rivals on their own turf, with all the injury problems, would be a huge morale boost and could kick City’s season back into gear.

 
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