Manchester City's Manuel Pellegrini faces fitness dilemma over David Silva

• Title-chasing side's midfielder restricted because of ankle injury
• He may be risked at Everton or saved for last two games

Manuel Pellegrini could gamble on David Silva's fitness to face Everton on Saturday, with the Manchester City manager's decision potentially affecting the destination of the Premier League title.

City are three points behind Liverpool, with a match more to play and a superior goal difference of eight, meaning that if this is maintained and their final three games are won, Pellegrini's side would secure a second crown in three years.

Silva is nursing an ankle injury that ruled him out of Sunday's 2-0 win at Crystal Palace. Pellegrini stated the midfielder cannot play every three days because of the chronic nature of the problem. After the trip to Goodison Park, City host Aston Villa on the following Wednesday before West Ham United arrive on the Sunday for their final match of the campaign.

The need to nurse Silva's ankle forced Pellegrini to rest his key playmaker for Sunderland's visit to the Etihad Stadium on 16 April – the middle of three games in a week – and City could only manage a 2-2 draw, dropping two points that gave the initiative in the title race to Liverpool.

However, Chelsea's 2-0 win at Anfield on Sunday has again placed the destination of the championship in City's hands.

Pellegrini will monitor Silva's recovery this week and may leave any decision over his fitness until as late as possible. Given that Everton, who are fifth, could be City's toughest opponents, Pellegrini has to decide whether, if fit, Silva would be best used against Roberto Martínez's side. Or the 28-year-old could be saved to ensure he is available for the last two matches.

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