Manchester City supporters tend to have a troubled relationship with Samir Nasri, the French midfielder who has never seemed to reach his vast potential. But Nasri's good moments, which have occurred more regularly than many Blues supporters would acknowledge have been critical components in both league titles won in this era by City. Particularly with David Silva struggling to regain his form, the Blues are lacking a truly creative force in midfield to unlock bunkered defenses especially late in matches.
Jesus Navas' pace has been time and again the way Manchester City earns corners or other set piece opportunities late in tight matches. Nasri's absence has meant more playing time for the Spanish winger, but has also meant that at times Pellegrini has been forced to play with two wingers (Navas and Raheen Sterling) while counting on Kevin De Bruyne to be the creative force in the center of midfield.
Nasri's ability to take defenders on and play effective probing balls in the final third has been sorely missed by a Blues side that has not won an away fixture in the Premier League since September 12.
Unless Silva can regain his form, Nasri's absence surprisingly to some could be a leading cause as to why City will not win the league this season. That is unless Nasri makes a much quicker than expected recovery from injury which probably rules him out for most of the season.