Vincent Kompany is Captain Fantastic as City climb back to the top of the table with just two games remaining. David Silva picks up an assist to maintain his recent consistency, while a change in formation proves the undoing of United, with the visitors failing to register a single attempt on target:
The City skipper followed the path of Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres by posting his highest Fantasy Premier League (FPL) haul of the season in Gameweek 36. In the most crucial game of the campaign, Kompany bagged the only goal and, with a clean sheet also picked up, produced an 11 point, pre-bonus return. While Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero have hit the headlines of late, Kompany’s return from injury has clearly boosted his side’s chances – this was their third clean sheet in the last four Gameweeks. Despite missing seven games this season, Kompany is now just a single point off second spot in the defender rankings – with a couple of bonus points, at least, looking likely, the Belgian would move to second spot, with only Patrice Evra producing more points from the back this term.
A corner kick assist for Kompany’s clincher continued the Spaniard’s recent upturn in consistency. Silva has now bagged attacking returns in three of his last four appearances – he had provided a single assist in the previous ten, from Gameweek 23-32, as his Fantasy season ground to a dramatic halt. Yesterday’s assist took his tally to 16 for the season, joint-top with compatriot Juan Mata; Silva remains in third in the midfielder rankings, though with top two Clint Dempsey and Gareth Bale still to play in midweek, the City man’s chances of finishing number one FPL midfielder look remote. If City are to prevail at Newcastle next Sunday before the final game of the season at home to QPR, though, his creative talents could well be the key to unlocking a Magpies defence that has kept a clean sheet in each of the last four at the Sports Direct Arena.
Shot Shy United
Perhaps with the idea to nullify his opponent’s attacking threat in mind, Sir Alex Ferguson decided to roll out a 4-5-1 at the Etihad, but the move backfired badly on United. Reports of Jonny Evans struggling with a foot injury proved correct and, with Rafael benched after his performance against Everton last time out, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones returned to the starting lineup. Evans’ loss proved particularly costly, with Smalling culpable for City’s goal after a poor piece of marking from a corner. Wayne Rooney cut a frustrated figure on his own up top and, despite a move to 4-4-2 just before the hour mark as Danny Welbeck was thrown on up front, United failed to make their mark. The champions failed to muster a single shot on target – the first time they have achieved this unwanted feat for three years, in the one game they couldn’t afford to do so.
The Ecuadorian had seemed a nailed-on fixture in the United first XI. Valencia started all but three games on the right wing since Gameweek 14, with his absence from that trio of fixtures down to a hamstring injury. Last night, however, he dropped to the bench – with Ryan Giggs handed a role on the left, Nani moved over to the opposite flank, meaning Valencia was afforded no more than a 13 minute substitute appearance as the visitors chased the game in vain. With the two teams now level on points, United will need to attack against Swansea if City prevail at Newcastle beforehand. Ferguson will surely roll out a 4-4-2 once more, then, though it remains to be seen whether Valencia’s omission was purely a tactical move or, like Rafael, he was another blamed for the late collapse against the Toffees – a major worry for his 12% of Fantasy owners ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Swans.