- Expected formation: 3-5-2
- Expected line-up: Ederson, Stones, Kompany, Otamendi; Walker, Toure, David Silva, KDB, Mendy (Danilo likely or even Sané until Mendy is back from injury); Agüero, Jesus
- Penalties: Agüero, Jesus, Toure or KDB
- Direct free kicks: KDB, Silva, Toure
- Indirect free kicks: KDB, Silva, Sterling
- Corners: KDB, Silva, Sterling
- Opening fixtures: Bha (A), EVE (H), Bou (A), LIV (H), Wat (A), CRY (H), Che (A), STK (H), BUR (H), Wba (A)
In my eyes, City will lift the Premier league trophy this season. With Pep in control, as well as some solid but expensive transfer signings extending their strength in depth, they have the ability to go all the way.
City have been very impressive in pre-season, with two notable wins coming against top opposition; one being Real Madrid where they dismantled them comfortably in a 4-1 victory and the other facing a familiar Premier League side in Spurs, where they beat them 3-0.
Kevin De Bruyne got the MOTM award against Real Madrid and was extremely impressive. My standout performer against Spurs has got to be Danilo, he was a constant threat for City with his runs down the left side and came close to a goal on a couple of occasions, which highlights his attacking ability.
Lets take a look closer look at those players of interest to us as FPL managers.
Kevin De Bruyne (£10.0m)Embed from Getty Images
We all know what a difference KDB makes to this City team and I can’t see that changing much. De Bruyne landed a mightily impressive 21 assists last season, which bettered that of Fábregas’ 20 in the season of 2007/08 back in his Arsenal playing days. He is incredibly accurate when it comes to dead ball situations and can strike a ball from range, as well as possessing the composure to take a chance inside the box.
With his impressive pre-season form, him taking most of City’s set-pieces and him being the safest option, the king of assists is looking increasingly like a must-own asset.
Gabriel Jesus (£10.5m)
A player thats come across from the Brazilian league stating, ‘I thought that the Premier League would be more difficult’, must either be extremely arrogant, or must have an unbelievable level of self-esteem and belief in his own ability. Given the way Gabriel Jesus has started life in the Premier League, I’m inclined to go with the latter.
Jesus seems likely to partner Agüero up front and as we’ve seen from last season, goals come in easy fashion for the young Brazilian with him scoring 7 goals in just 10 games as well as bagging 4 assists. I’d classify Gabriel a “premium striker” but Agüero would win my vote if I had to make a choice between the two. With the masterful playmaker KDB playing behind however, I fancy him to back up the blistering start he’s made to life at Manchester City with a strong and successful campaign, provided he avoids any injuries of course.
Make or Break? – Sergio Agüero (£11.5m)Embed from Getty Images
A lot has been said about this all-time Premier and Fantasy Premier League great in the FPL community recently, but to me it’s as simple as this; if he plays, he scores. He’s a world-class striker and always has been.
The acquisition of Jesus doesn’t hinder Agüero as an FPL asset, it helps him. Jesus will stretch the defence and help create space for Agüero to move into with his intelligent runs and will NOT stop him from doing what he does best – scoring goals. Pep playing games with us in terms of rotating him is the main concern, but I expect that to stop for the new season, as I believe last year encompassed a lot of tinkering with the formation and the players and I don’t think he ever really settled. Now, it looks like he has a new formation (3-5-2) that seems to suit everyone and Agüero, I assure you, would be an important part of it if he sticks with it.
Agüero scored 20 goals for City last season, as well as 175 FPL Points along with it in just 25(6) appearances. He is a quality player, but will he prove his talent once again this season, especially with Pep’s golden boy Jesus involved? Lets wait and see but in my personal opinion, I think he will.
Danilo (£5.5m) is one of the cheapest ways into that City back-line for the time being. With Benjamin Mendy (£6.0m) missing the start of the season due to an injury he picked up (something that has been recently shown to be a regular occurrence for the former Monaco man), we will likely see Danilo taking his place in the first 11 until he fully recovers and is able to play. He looked impressive in pre-season and gets forward very well – a good option potentially for the first few games.
Kyle Walker (£6.5m) and Vincent Kompany (£6.0m) are the ways to go if you want a City defender. Both have pedigree and both have a genuine attacking threat making them fixture proof. Walker bagged 6 assists last season before he became unsettled and Trippier subsequently, got a look in. Kompany managed 3 goals in just the 10 games he played which is a brilliant attacking return for a centre back.Embed from Getty Images
If City go with the 3-5-2 formation and they prove to be more defensively organised, then both Stones (£5.5m) and Otamendi (£5.5m) could become viable options given their price in relation to Kompany and Walker, but with these assets, you are heavily reliant on clean sheets, as neither of them possess a huge threat from an attacking perspective.
I expect big things from The Citizens this season. The only potential headache, is rotation – the bane of every FPL manager. Kevin de Bruyne will surely start every game unless Pep decides to do a Pep on us and randomly drop him, otherwise he should keep his place and start each game. For me, as stated previously, he represents the best and safest way into this pit of potential rotation nightmares that is Manchester City under Pep Guardiola.
Where we might see the rotation, is the wing back spots and potentially the strikers, as Sterling has been utilised in this system in pre-season up front alongside one of Agüero/Jesus. I would avoid Sané/Sterling/Bernado Silva, as none of those players are nailed and will be used in rotation over the season.
From a defensive point of view, Walker is the best option with Vincent Kompany a close 2nd, although for those of you that like a short-term punt, Danilo looks good for a few games but be wary of Mendy’s return from injury and make sure you have a plan in place to jump off.
With big Vincent Kompany back commanding the defence like a composer does with his orchestra, I expect City to be much more defensively organised as long as he can keep himself fit. City only managed a total of 12 clean sheets throughout the whole of last season, but I expect that to improve this year with the new system in place and their captain fantastic being back.
Overall, at least one of KDB/Agüero/Jesus is essential in my opinion as City have a brilliant set of opening fixtures and have been exceptional in pre-season. I fully expect them to hit the ground running and even a double-up on their assets might not be the worst idea – food for thought.