Just a few weeks ago Antonio Valencia appeared to have emerged as a genuine force in the United midfield. After months of uncertainty in Ferguson’s ranks, Fantasy Managers at last had an attacking player that they could turn to as a supplement to Wayne Rooney’s ample returns. The Ecuadorian had served up four goals and four assists in the final couple of months of 2009 and all looked rosey for him and his fantasy owners for the year ahead. Then, against the odds and from nowhere, Nani put himself back in the game.

Alex Ferguson handed the Portuguese winger a starting berth in the same eleven as Valencia in the 3-0 win over Burnley. It wasn’t until the United boss switched Nani to the opposite flank in the 4-0 win over Hull however, that he began to reveal himself as a true prospect. Nani has since thrived on the right-wing in the wins over Hull, Man City and last weekend at the Emirates. This has been achieved at the expense of Valencia who has sat out of all three matches and now faces a battle to regain his starting role.

It’s a huge change in fortunes for Nani – a player who was reported to be offered to Wigan in exchange for Valencia in the Summer and was looking for assurance on his future at Old Trafford just before Christmas. But where does this leave us Fantasy Managers? Back in a world of uncertainty by the looks of things. Ferguson has recently admitted that he faces a dilemma with the two wingers, indicating that he recognises the right-flank as Nani’s preferred and natural position…

“When he plays on the left maybe he does that (over-elaborates) but the right side is his natural position…It is amazing when you talk to the players – they all want him to play. They all think he is fantastic. We are getting consistency from him now. We have a really good player. We wondered if he would feel tired after three games in a week but he never showed that until the last 10 minutes. But it gives me a massive decision now between Nani and Antonio Valencia.”

So far Nani’s fantasy returns have seen three assists in his last two games but with Rooney firing goals from all angles, further assists and even goals could well be in Nani’s locker with regular starts. Priced significantly cheaper than Valencia across the fantasy games (6.5 vs 8.4 in the Fantasy Premier League game), Nani has the edge right now but rotation with Valencia is surely on the cards.

United’s schedule, with Champions League fixtures now looming, hands Ferguson the opportunity to justify resting and rotating the pair and we could see that in action with Portsmouth at Old Trafford this weekend. With a trip to Villa Park on Wednesday, the form of Nani could well be saved for the sterner opposition that awaits in midweek. That would come as a major disappointment for early investors in the Nani bandwagon.

There is of course a chance that Ferguson will unleash the pair of them at times, although we seen that Ferguson is a keen admirer of the workrate of Park on the left, while Giggs is always another option, despite his move to a central role for the main part of this season. There’s just so much uncertainty then, leaving us with little option but to study Ferguson’s selection patterns and attempt to predict which of Valencia or Nani is set to be preferred for the next fixture. It’s a dangerous, frustrating game but then frustration has come hand in hand with Nani ever since he arrived at Old Trafford.

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Gameweek 25

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  • André Ayew
  • Dele Alli
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  • Sánchez
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Goalkeepers

Last updated: 26 Jan, 2016 10:34pm
Player Club Factors
Up Hennessey CPL C, Vs, £
Down Butland STO C, Vs
Up Schmeichel LEI A
Up Forster SOT A
Up Courtois CHE B, Vs
Up Fabianski SWA A
No Change Boruc BOU B
No Change De Gea MUN B
No Change Cech ARS B, VsX
Up Foster WBA C, VsX

Defenders

Last updated: 3 Feb, 2016 9:04am
Player Club Factors
Up Ivanovic CHE A, Vs
Up van Dijk SOT A
Down Baines EVE B, Vs
Up Dann CPL C, Vs
Up Cresswell WHM B, Vs
Up Williams SWA A
No Change Dawson WBA C
Down Alderweireld TOT B
No Change Daniels BOU A, £
No Change Fuchs LEI A
No Change Van Aanholt SUN A, VsX
Down Bellerín ARS C, VsX
Down Smalling MUN C
Down Moreno LIV C, Vs
Down Johnson STO B
Down Kolarov MCI B, Rest, Inj

Midfielders

Last updated: 3 Feb, 2016 11:14pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Payet WHM B, Vs
Up Roberto Firmino LIV A, Vs, OoP
Up Dele Alli TOT A, Inj
Up Barkley EVE C, Vs
Up André Ayew SWA A, OoP
Up Eriksen TOT A
Down Ozil ARS C, VsX
No Change Mahrez LEI C, VsX
Up Sánchez ARS C, VsX, Inj
Up Antonio WHM A, Vs, Rest, £
No Change Willian CHE B, Vs, Inj
No Change Wijnaldum NEW B
Down Arnautovic STO C, Vs, Inj
Up Silva MCI C
No Change Johnson SUN B, VsX

Forwards

Last updated: 3 Feb, 2016 11:14pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Aguero MCI A
No Change Kane TOT B
Up Vardy LEI C
Up Diego Costa CHE A, Vs, Inj
No Change Ighalo WAT C, VsX
Up Rooney MUN A
Down Lukaku EVE C, Vs
No Change Giroud ARS B, VsX, Rest
Up Afobe BOU A, £
Down Austin SOT B, Inj

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
OoP Out of Position
£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension
Player Team YC
Colback NEW 9
Byram WHM 9
Lucas LIV 8
Jones SUN 8
Yacob WBA 8
Westwood AVL 7
Diego Costa CHE 7
Huth LEI 7
Can LIV 7
Mangala MCI 7
Shelvey NEW 7
Pieters STO 7
Dele Alli TOT 7
Dier TOT 7
Noble WHM 7

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