Aguero injury opens door for Balotelli
Sergio Aguero's loss could be Mario Balotelli's gain, after the Argentine striker went off injured during his side's 3-0 win at home to Stoke City. The New Year's Day success enabled City to preserve the seven-point gap that separates them from Premier League leaders Manchester United. Manager Roberto Mancini predicted that Aguero would be out for around 10 days. One potential replacement is Italian forward Balotelli.
Pepe undergoes ankle surgery
Madrid: Real Madrid defender Pepe had surgery on his right ankle at a clinic in Portugal on Wednesday, the club said, without giving a timeframe for his recovery. "Pepe, after showing discomfort in his right ankle and after a medical check, was operated on this morning in Oporto... at the Espregueira Mendes Clinic. The player had an arthroscopy of the ankle," Real Madrid said in a statement online.
Tito visits Barca after surgery
Madrid: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova visited team players at their training ground on Wednesday, less than two weeks after he had cancer surgery, the club said. The visit raised hopes that Vilanova, 44, may soon return to work with the team, which is flying nine points clear at the top of the Spanish league. "He came to the Ciudad Deportiva and greeted the players who trained there this morning," Barcelona said in a statement, referring to the club's training ground.