Manchester - Look out, Premier League: Sergio Aguero is back to fitness, back scoring goals and leading Manchester City's charge to reel in Arsenal in the second half of the season.
After an injury-marred end to 2015, the Argentina striker has been eased back into prime shape in the last few weeks by City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who stepped up Aguero's playing time each game over the festive period.
The Premier League's top scorer last season, Aguero is starting to deliver once again, either netting or assisting four of City's last five goals. On Saturday, he marked his fourth straight start with a stunning solo goal - a weaving run past three defenders before poking in a finish to set City on its way to a 3-0 win over Norwich in the FA Cup.
Next for the player nicknamed "Kun" is Everton in the Premier League on Wednesday, one of the standout games from a full midweek program in England's top division.
"When Kun continues playing games and playing more minutes, his performance always improves after he comes back from a long injury," Pellegrini said of Aguero, who missed 10 weeks of action from October to December because of two separate injuries and is still on 11 goals for the campaign.
"We know he is a top player and when he continues playing, he will arrive at his normal performance. When you have players as important as Sergio it is very important for their team-mates, for the manager, for the fans to see them playing every game because he is a player that makes a difference."
Third-place City heads into the game at Etihad Stadium a point behind Leicester and three behind Arsenal in the league, after 20 of 38 matches. With Arsenal away to Liverpool, there is a real possibility the two leading title contenders could be tied for points after Wednesday's games.
City is in the midst of a heavy fixture load: Seven games in 24 days across three competitions. Because City is playing Everton in the two-legged League Cup semi-finals this month - Everton won the first leg 2-1 on Wednesday - the teams are meeting three times in three weeks.
The second-leg of the semifinal is on January 27.