So the Premier League is back for another year and the opening weekend was full of goals to the delight of many FPL owners across the world. The Friday night fixture saw a thriller at the Emirates in which Vardy and Lacazette both managed to bag, followed by a last minute cameo appearance from Olivier Giroud off the bench to win the game for Arsenal. Saturday saw more of the same as the 6 goal thriller at Vicarage Road saw Mane, Firmino and Salah bag for Liverpool and it’s safe to assume that at least one of these three featured in your FPL team. Chelsea very surprisingly beaten by Burnley at home later in the day with the help of a Sam Vokes double but new man Morata managed to score on his debut. The attention on Sunday was all on the Premier League’s most expensive striker, Romelu Lukaku, and for FPL managers who spent big to put him in their team he did not disappoint with a debut double.
City were away at Brighton for the late kick-off on Saturday and frustratingly it took until the 70th minute for the Blues to break the deadlock. Aguero was put through by David Silva and coolly slot it past Brighton keeper, Mat Ryan, to give City the lead. Five minutes later City doubled their lead through a Lewis Dunk own goal, much to the frustration of anyone with Gabriel Jesus in their team (me) who was agonisingly close to getting his head to the ball first for the points. City saw the game out at 2-0 keeping a clean sheet and full points for Blues defenders.
A City Perspective
City opted to play three at the back with Danilo and Walker as full-backs, Fernandinho, De Bruyne and Silva in the midfield and Jesus partnering Aguero up top. Good news for those who opted for any City defenders as all the big names – who were fit – made the team sheet and hit the 60 minute mark which qualifies them for the clean sheet bonus points.
I didn’t have the best week – most of which is down to me not having Lukaku as captain like the rest of the country does it seems… I’m happy with my team though and fully expect to be in contention for the title in my leagues when the season is up (we’ll see about that though).
As you can see from my team selection I went for the slightly cheaper option of the City defenders on show, Danilo (£5.5m). The Brazilian full-back has a solid game at the back and earned the 6 points – 4 for the clean sheet and 2 for playing over 60 minutes. However, I wasn’t convinced by his forward play as a left wing-back, always opting to shift the ball back on to his right foot and put a tame cross in. It may have been coincidence that it only took 3 minutes for City to score after he was substituted but Sané was definitely a bigger threat when running at the full-back. I’m likely to substitute Danilo out in GW3 though as Mendy looks set to start in the Girona friendly on Tuesday and should make his way back into the starting line-up soon.
Choosing a City midfielder is an almost impossible task due to the sheer amount of quality and depth the club has in that position. Sané, Sterling, Bernardo, Silva, KDB, Yaya, Gundogan, Fernandinho and even Foden are all options for your team. Going by last season and depending on Pep’s preference each week to play with wing-backs or wide men though it seems that KDB and Silva are the two most likely to start each week. KDB (£10m) is the more expensive of the two – Silva (£8m) but with the most assists in the league last season for me it is a no-brainer to add him in if you don’t already have him in what is most likely going to be a high scoring season for the Blues.
Up top there are literally only the two options. Aguero (£11.5m) and Jesus (£10.5m). Both started against Brighton but the Argentine was the one that scored. I’d say a City striker is essential this year (I would say that though) and I went for Jesus to invest the saving into other parts of my team. There were promising signs during the Brighton game for Jesus, the disallowed goal and the fact he was closest to Dunk when he put the ball into his own net show that the youngster gets into good positions and is likely to continue doing so throughout the season. There will be rotation however, expect Jesus to drop to the bench every now and then, that’s one of the risks with City players this season but Pep had a say in his signing last season and has spoken very highly of his abilities. One thing he has that Aguero doesn’t is his ability to play on the wings effectively which may see him a little further from the goal but gain him more playing time over the season as Pep indulges in his rotation.
Who to bring in
Daley Blind (£5.5m)
Ok, so you’ve already seen Pogba in my team and I’m almost certainly getting a few dirty virtual looks from the hardcore FPL Blues who refuse to pick any Reds at all, and this suggestion isn’t going to help me there but bear with me. We all know how Mourinho plays and how he values that defensive setup, so having a United defender is a smart move. I’m going for Blind because he’s likely to start most games at left-back with Shaw not being looked on favourably by the manager and Rojo only looks comfortable in the centre now. As well as this, he takes corners and if you look at the size of the United team now it’s clear that they’re going to score a few. Expect points for clean sheets and a few assists throughout the year if you go for this guy.
Who to take out
So obviously Cahill (£6.5m) and Fabregas (£7m) are going to be suspended for the next game at least but I’d argue that any Chelsea players are best to be transferred out at the moment. There seems to be a bit of unsettlement amongst the Chelsea camp with Conte angry at the clubs transfer business so far and the players a little confused as to why Matic was sold to a Premier League rival. What’s not going to help is the fixtures coming up for the London club. A trip to Wembley to face Tottenham isn’t going to be an easy game and I don’t think it will end the same way the last time the two faced each other at this stadium did. After that a new look Everton visit Stamford Bridge followed by a trip to the KP Stadium to face a Leicester side that nobody knows what to expect of really this season. Obviously there’s only been one game played and Chelsea will get back to full strength eventually but I think things will take time to settle at the club and until then, your money is best spent elsewhere.
Join our league!
City Watch has its own fantasy league running for the second year, with one of next season’s shirts up for grabs! Last year’s winner Marne Blair decided on the away top. Enter this year’s and if you rate your FPL skills, you could win yourself a City shirt!
— Marne Blair (@MarneBlair) July 27, 2017