With the EPL reaching the halfway point of the season with one of the closest groupings at the top of the table that we have seen in world football, every team will be looking to get any boost possible as they try and compete for the league and for the Champions League spots. Some will look to the transfer market, others will hope that a break from the Champions League will help their case, and a few teams will get the benefit of a boost from within their own ranks. Although every team has a few walking wounded at this point in the season, some of the top dogs have some of their biggest talents returning during January from injury.
Although Arsenal are currently sitting atop the league, Manchester City currently feel like the strongest team coming around the bend. A big win against Liverpool and a spot one point behind the league leaders shows that City have every opportunity to pip Arsenal in the coming weeks. Although their defense has been decent, City are fighting through the league by scoring a ton of goals. Their midfield is one of the most dangerous in the world and they have a striker stable comparable to any club in world football. However, even with their talent and the danger they pose in front of goal, City will see the return of Sergio Aguero in the coming weeks. A player that has seemed capable of scoring whenever he wanted, his return paired up with the current form of Dzeko and Negredo could help City to crush any opposition that gets placed against them.
The other team that will be returning some star players from an injury absence will be Liverpool. Club captain Steven Gerrard will be slotting in to replace either Joe Allen or Lucas, both impressive players in their own right, but Gerrard stands head and shoulders above them both. Considering the way that goals were scored against City and Chelsea, it is possible that slotting in a strong player like Gerrard in the middle of the field could have prevented all four of the goals that were scored by stopping the chance before it even happened. Liverpool will also be returning Daniel Sturridge. Sturridge was red-hot during the opening of the season and his relationship with Luis Suarez seemed prime for them to become the best strike partnership in years. Considering the chances wasted by Sterling against City and the gap between Sturridge and others at the squad, this might be an even more important return than Gerrard. Still, both players will help prevent Liverpool from falling too much farther out of the top-four race.
Clubs look for every edge as the clubs start to separate themselves and where points become an even more impressive commodity. There will definitely be money spent in January and there will definitely be other forms of boosts found by certain clubs, but Liverpool and City will be hoping that the players returning to the starting 11 can help them reach their season goals. If either team gets the boost they need, then it will help to keep this EPL season to be one of the tightest races to the finish we have ever seen…I LOVE THIS GAME!