Before I start on the player ranking articles I thought it was worth putting a fantasy premier league analysis article together on the Manchester City attacking options. Hopefully it will give you some information to make a decision on a transfer if that’s currently on your mind.
Fantasy premier league analysis – assessing Manchester City’s attacking options
Why focus on Man City?
Man City have scored more goals than any team in the premier league (22) including 17 in their last 4 games.
Also here’s their next 6 fixtures:
West Brom (A)
So you can see the attraction to their attacking players.
Someone once said “the best way to avoid disappointment is not to expect anything from anyone”. That’s the motto I tend to take when I think about Pep and Pochettino. With Pep it’s team sheets, Pochettino it’s injuries.
Gametime is crucial in assessing the prospects of the Manchester City attacking players. However to assess that is to get into the mind of Pep who at best is unpredictable. So I’m going to write this section with a healthy dose of you take a Man City midfielder at your own risk and make sure you’re sitting down when the team sheet comes out.
To understand the gametime risks you need to understand how Man City have lined up this season
Pep has played 3 at the back in a 5-1-2-2 formation with the intention it seems of putting Aguero and Jesus up front as a pair. He has done it without Kompany as we seen in The Liverpool game below but there has to be some question over Danilo after the Chelsea game and there definitely is over Mangala as a CB.
He hasn’t played 5-1-2-2 without putting Aguero and Jesus upfront. A back 3 with Aguero back means no room for Sterling or Sane as you can see above.
So to me that says that there is a case for saying he will play a back 4 until at least Aguero is back. It may also mean a back 4 until Kompany is back. The above graphic has said it’s possible to play a back 3 without Kompany although the defence against Liverpool was poor until the sending off. This is obviously a big assumption.
A back 4 then without Aguero will see a CDM and 5 attacking players. These would naturally be De Bruyne, D Silva, Sane, Sterling and Jesus. That could either be 4-1-4-1.
Or a 4-1-2-3 which could even accommodate Aguero and Jesus but would see 1 of Sane and Sterling drop out.
or even 4-1-3-2 which he hasn’t used this season
So what does this mean?
Until Aguero is back it’s possible both Sane and Sterling could play as Pep is likely to use a back 4 giving 5 attacking positions.
Once Aguero is back it’s likely that one of Sane or Sterling will drop out as there will be 5 attacking positions for 6 players
Once Kompany and Aguero are back then a back 3 looks a possibility and could see both Sane and Sterling drop out as per the vs Liverpool graphic above
All this is dot joining and is subject to the usual Pep unpredictability and general rest rotation
Injuries and International breaks
There maybe a further update at the pre GW8 press conference
Kompany was supposed to be back for GW8 but that now seems unlikely.
Aguero was originally supposed to be back for GW12 ish on the advice of the Argentinian doctor. However he is now back in light training but there is no word on a return date. Light training and match contact given the rib injury are 2 very different things I imagine.
Otamendi who played at altitude for Argentina at 12.30am in Ecuadaor and Jesus who played 90 minutes at the same time for Brazil have to be candidates for rest related risks.
Comparing the midfield
PPG: the points per match taken from the FPL site
ATGS – the bookies anytime goalscoring odds for GW8.
xG and xA: Expected goals and assists per 90 minutes for the 17/18 season to date and the 16/17 season from the excellent site understat.com See our underlying stats summary for expected goal information on teams and players
17 /18 has seen a couple of hidings handed out to a few teams by Man City and that has complicated the underlying stats and raised them in some cases above realistic levels. Sterlings xG is in the Kane range and Sane’s xA is not going to be higher than De Bruynes at the end of the season. That complicates analysis somewhat.
Pass and Position Maps
Here are 2 pass and position maps from the excellent twitter site 11tgen11. Firstly v Chelsea
Then v Palace
So what does this all mean?
De Bruyne and D Silva
Silva and De Bruyne have started every game and Silva has played 90 minutes in 5 games and De Bruyne 6. They, especially Silva in my mind are crucial to Pep and not interchangeable. Silva offers so much in the final 3rd while De Bruyne deeper. However they aren’t as advanced as Sane and Sterling and don’t have the goal threat of either but are mainly assist based players. De Bruyne is in FPL terms inferior to Silva but costs £1.6m more as well but both offer good gametime security in the longer term subject to rest rotation and general “Pepness”
Sterling offers the greater goal threat and can even play as an auxiliary striker. You can question his finishing ability and his xG won’t continue but he is probably the greater goal threat of the midfielders. Has started the last 4 games and played 90 minutes in 3. Suspended v Liverpool
Again often very advanced and does have a goal threat but possibly prone to playing wider and becoming more of an assister. Can even be squeezed in as a LWB believe it or not. Seems more rotatable only starting 3 games. Those 3 have included starting the last 2 though.
Is a bench risk for GW8 but as the only out and out striker after that you have to think he will start games until Aguero is back and that gives a rest rotation possibility again. The risk is that as soon as a game is won he will be taken off.
The FFGeek choice
I have been steadfastly choosing D Silva in my wildcard teams mainly due to my belief about gametime in the longer term. However I’m now wondering whether Sterling is worth the gametime risk. I’ll wait until the press conference and anything else that happens. I have Jesus in 2 of 3 wildcard drafts but may reconsider if there is enough information to suggest he won’t start in GW8.
I definitely would welcome any comments from anyone with agreeing or differing views and on how they are dealing with Man City
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