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18th of October 2018

Sport



Man City fans should have no concerns about Riyad Mahrez's stuttering start

Riyad Mahrez's Manchester City career is yet to kick into gear but there is no need for Blues fans to panic just yet.

It took the Algerian eight games to find the net for his new club and at the weekend he spurned the opportunity to put his slow start behind him as he blasted a late penalty over in City's crunch game at Anfield ahead of the international break.

That penalty miss aside, Mahrez's overall performance was encouraging and he twice went close to opening the scoring against Liverpool before his awful spot-kick grabbed him the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Mahrez's class has been evident since the start of the 2015/16 season and his ability, the ability that spearheaded Leicester's incredible run to the title, isn't something that has waned overnight.

A quick look at Mahrez's statistics side by side with Sterling's and Sane's since the start of last season shows that his numbers stack up with City's young wingers.

Mahrez was consoled by Pep Guardiola at full-time after his penalty miss vs Liverpool

With 14 Premier League strikes to his name, he's scored more goals than Sane and he has a better minutes-to-goal ratio than the German winger.

He's been involved in 24 goals since the start of last season, while Sterling has been involved in 35 and Sane 28.

That doesn't sound like a statistic in Mahrez's favour but it must be noted that he played for a team that scored just 56 Premier League goals all last season, while Sterling and Sane played for one that scored 106.

Mahrez vs Sterling vs Sane

Games played (since start of 17-18 PL season): Mahrez 44, Sterling 40, Sane 39

Goals scored: Mahrez 14, Sterling 22, Sane 11

Assists: Mahrez 10, Sterling 13, Sane 17

Mins per goal: Mahrez 234.36, Sterling 144.73, Sane 247

Chances created: Mahrez 63, Sterling 70, Sane 65

Stats courtesy of Opta

He's also created 63 chances to Sterling's 70 and Sane's 65 - a more-than-respectable figure again when taking into account the differing qualities of the Leicester and City teams.

The key takeaway from the figures is that Mahrez's numbers stack up with Sterling's and Sane's - despite the fact he was playing in a far lesser side for the vast majority of the period from which the stats are taken from.

Next up for City and Mahrez is Burnley at home after the international break and the 27-year-old needs to show he's put his penalty nightmare behind him to kick on in his Blues career.

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