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Has Dzeko blown his Man City chance with Negredo in the wings?

| 08.09.2013

Despite a chastening loss at Cardiff City, Manchester City have made a fair start to the season, comfortably beaten Newcastle and Hull at the Etihad.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are 9/5 favourites to win the Premier League.

Edin Dzeko started the campaign as first choice, something promised to him by Pellegrini after his impressive pre-season, scoring once in the first three matches.

However Dzeko’s time on the pitch has reduced game by game, and the Bosnian might already be worried that he is set to be consigned to a bench role again at City.

After playing 90 minutes against Newcastle, Dzeko was pulled off after 69 minutes at Cardiff, and was replaced at half-time in the win over Hull.

The beneficiary of this has been new signing Alvaro Negredo, whose time on the pitch has increased with each passing match, from a 10-minute cameo in City’s opening match to 21 minutes in Cardiff and then a full half against Hull.

Negredo has scored in the past two matches, and is almost certain to replace Dzeko from the start after the international break.

Although Dzeko and Negredo shared the pitch for a spell against Newcastle, it is highly unlikely that Pellegrini will opt to use them both from the start on many occasions this season, as they possess similar attributes.

City’s new manager does favour a two-striker system, but it is Sergio Aguero or Stevan Jovetic who will take the other place in the line-up, playing just behind one of Dzeko or Negredo.

So far the Spanish striker has looked the better bet in front of goal, with his odds shortening to 16/1 to be Premier League top scorer, with Dzeko now priced at 20/1.

Last year Dzeko started a mere 16 Premier League games for City, and completed 90 minutes just nine times, and he might be worried that Negredo is about to push him onto the bench again.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Fortune