Flourishing Manchester City strikers must get more game-time together

Manchester City are the top scorers in the Premier League, and much of that is down to two men.

As Manchester City top the goalscoring charts with 17 goals in just seven games, manager Manuel Pellegrini is reaping the rewards of Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo's flourishing partnership.

Whilst Negredo was limited to substitute appearances versus Newcastle United, Cardiff City and Hull City, the Spaniard marked his half time introduction against the Tigers with the opening goal in City's 2-0 win. He earned his first start in the following fixture at Stoke City, but the 0-0 draw at the Britannia Stadium remains City's only blank game this season.

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Aguero has maintained the form that has earned him a reputation as one of the Premier League's deadliest strikers, but Negredo's transition to the Premier League was expected to take some time – despite his stature and playing style being perfect for the British game.

Negredo, standing at 6ft 1inl, has a game style based around strength, leading to City fans already nicknaming him 'Beast'. On paper, the big man – little man strike-force that we've seen a number of times appeared to be the perfect combination for City, and Pellegrini finally went with both Negredo and Aguero in the big derby match against Manchester United.

The 4-1 demolition showed how potent City were that day, but the link-up play between the two former La Liga strikers caused United endless problems. Surprisingly, Pellegrini chose to play Dzeko and Negredo together in the next match against Aston Villa. The two players offer similar attributes and despite seeing Dzeko get on the score-sheet, the partnership didn't take off.

Consigned to the bench for the Bayern Munich clash, Negredo scored an outstanding goal with just ten minutes remaining to demonstrate how clinical he can be. Fortunately, Pellegrini got the message and revived the Aguero – Negredo partnership against Everton. Both players got on the score-sheet as City ran out 3-1 winners.

Pellegrini has every right to rotate his squad and keep competition for places high, but the results speak for themselves – City have scored seven goals in just two games when Negredo and Aguero play together, and the former is enjoying their burgeoning partnership.

'I really enjoyed playing with him, he's very talented,' he said as reported by The Telegraph recently. 'The way he controls the ball, the things he can do with it… he has amazing technique. I hope to continue to play with him in this team.'

Despite spending £22m on Montenegrin hit-man Stevan Jovetic, the former Fiorentina man will struggle to break Negredo and Aguero apart on current form. With goals flowing and competition for places up front intensifying, are City just a solid defence away from challenging for the title again?

Do you think Aguero-Negredo is City's best option? Why does this pairing not gain as many plaudits as Suarez-Sturridge or Ozil-Giroud? Let us know in the comment section below…

image: © Mark Freeman

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