May
02

With their hopes of retaining the title already extinguished, City will at least find a little solace in their remaining four fixtures as Roberto Mancini looks to finish the season with a flourish. An upcoming double Gameweek 36 sees the former champions travel to Swansea this weekend before entertaining West Brom next Tuesday and with the potential for Fantasy points at both ends of the pitch enticing, many managers are jumping on board the bandwagons:

The Prospects

Mancini will be hoping his side can improve upon their recent away displays as they prepare for Saturday’s trip to the Liberty. City have scored more than a single goal just once in their previous six road trips and have managed only one clean sheet in the last five away fixtures. Michael Laudrup’s side approach the double in dire form, though; just two points in their last six sums up their recent displays and with four goals scored, in addition to conceding twice in five of those six, it seems the Welsh club are already on their summer holidays.

City’s home form offers cause for real optimism ahead of the Baggies’ visit. The last seven Etihad matches have harvested five clean sheets and have seen City score at least twice on six occasions, dropping a total of two points over that run. Steve Clarke’s men have been defensively strong on the road of late, though, with two clean sheets in three – before last week’s win at Southampton, however, they’d scored just once in three away matches.

While the fixtures hold undoubted promise, the upcoming FA Cup final may well play a significant part in Mancini’s selection policy over the double Gameweek. The Wembley showdown with Wigan occurs four days after the West Brom match and three days before the Gameweek 37 trip to Reading – given his previous with rest and rotation, the City boss may well ring the changes over the two fixtures in order to ensure his key players are fresh for the Latics showdown.

The Likely Lads

Having picked up a back problem during Saturday’s home match with West Ham, Joe Hart was culpable for the visitors’ late consolation. Post-match, though, David Platt offered reassurance on his fitness and with Costel Pantilimon set to start in the FA Cup final, Hart is nailed-on for the four league fixtures – he has so far racked up 19 points more than any City defender and, whilst a little costly at 6.8 in Fantasy Premier League (FPL), is a worry-free acquisition between the sticks.

While Mancini has rotated his back-four in recent weeks, Vincent Kompany has remained the only constant. There’s no doubt Pablo Zabaleta has offered the most attacking potential of any City defender this season but the return of Micah Richards saw the Argentine drop out against Wigan recently – Kompany’s security of starts looks head and shoulders above any defensive alternative.

It’s been a disappointing season for David Silva, with the City playmaker failing to live up to his status as a heavyweight midfield option this time round. Nevertheless, with double figure returns in three of his last five at the Etihad, Silva has certainly worked his magic in front of his own fans in recent matches – he’s far from cheap at 9.1 in FPL but an ownership of under 6% hints at the differential appeal of a player who has still managed to chip in with four goals and 11 assists so far.

There’s no doubt Samir Nasri has been City’s most impressive attacking option heading into the double. The 8.1 priced Frenchman supplied assists for both the goals in last weekend’s home win over the Hammers and has now produced returns in four of the last five Gameweeks – he’s picking up speed as we approach the finishing line after a desperately poor second season for Mancini’s side. Similarly, Yaya Toure offers a cheaper alternative to Silva at 8.2 in FPL and also arrives in decent form. A goal and maximum bonus against the Hammers helped Toure to his third set of double figures of the season and continued a run which has seen him score or assist in three of the previous five Gameweeks.

Up top, the Argentine pair of Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez have the potential to do the business over the double. Tevez has scored in four of the last eight Gameweeks and has started each of the previous seven, while Aguero returned from a hamstring injury to notch against West Ham last weekend and has found the net in two of his last three appearances. Both, however, remain firmly at the mercy of their manager’s tinkering over the two games. If Mancini wants to ensure a strong finish in the league, their prospects look good – if he chooses to keep a careful eye on their fitness for the FA Cup final, their game time may be curtailed.

Cheeky Punt

Concerns over City’s main two forwards could bring Edin Dzeko into the picture. With a single assist in his last five appearances, his form is far from inspiring but those Fantasy managers who believe Mancini is set to rotate the Argentine duo may well opt for Dzeko as a route into City’s attack – at just 6.8 in FPL, he’s by far the most budget-friendly of the trio.

James Milner has started just two of the last four Gameweeks but has produced returns in both those appearances. A goal against United and assist away to Spurs highlight his form but having limped out of the White Hart Lane loss at half-time, he returned to first-team action via the bench last weekend, courtesy of a 13 minute sub appearance against West Ham. Like Dzeko, he could benefit if Mancini rotates on the flanks – previously, he’d looked to have climbed ahead of Nasri in th pecking order but the latter’s recent form suggests he’s firmly back in favour with Mancini.

Finally, it would be remiss of us not to bring the enigma that is Aleksandar Kolarov into the equation. A 20 point haul in Gameweek 7 at home to Sunderland and 11 point return as recently as Gameweek 33 against Wigan at the Etihad serves a reminder of what the left-back is capable of – game time is far from guaranteed but with a 1% ownership, he could prove a huge differential. His acquisition would be a bold, bold move but Kolarov’s eye for a long distance shot and share of set-pieces makes him the ultimate in flair punts heading into this one.

About The Author

paul

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  1. Terrible tackle there looks like Mata is out for the session

    • 11 months, 20 days ago
    1. A bit personal......

      • 11 months, 20 days ago
  2. Repost to just gauge wider feeling

    Robles*
    Taylor* Bertrand* Monreal. (Wilson, demel)
    Bale* Michu* Hazrad* Mata* Walcott*
    Lukaku* Tevez*. (RVP)

    Chasing 26pt leader in ML

    Worth swapping out Walcott for Maloney for DGW as opposed to wally's easier fixture?

    • 11 months, 20 days ago
    1. I think general consensus is leave wally

      • 11 months, 20 days ago
      1. Yeh, that's what I'm hearing. It's surprising for me, a newby, to the magic that can be the DGW to not play the numbers but I'm going to take the advice. I guess it makes sense really.

        Many thanks.

        • 11 months, 20 days ago
        1. I will too and it's actually persuaded me to lose Maloney....

          • 11 months, 20 days ago
  3. De Gea and Aguero or Hart and Ba for this week?

    • 11 months, 20 days ago
  4. Ivanovic playing the full 90 tonight worries me..

    • 11 months, 20 days ago
  5. The team I'm playing:

    Jaaskelainen
    Davies, J Evans, Sagna
    Maloney, Mata, Hazard, Bale, Michu

    I have Benteke, Tevez and Rooney. Willing to take a -4 hit to get rid of Rooney, but for who? Lukaku, Aguero, Defoe? Or do I just play Benteke and cross my fingers?

    • 11 months, 20 days ago
    1. -4 rooney to aguero

      • 11 months, 20 days ago
  6. DW heavy in a last push for the mini- league title
    Thoughts on leaving RVP on the bench?

    Guzan
    Dawson* Nastasic* Boyce*
    Michu* Maloney* Hazard* Yaya* Bale*
    Benteke Tevez

    Bench
    De Gea RVP Betrand Sagna

    • 11 months, 19 days ago

Scout Picks

For Gameweek 34

  • Speroni
  • Zabaleta
  • Coleman
  • Shawcross
  • Mirallas
  • Eriksen
  • Y Touré
  • Lallana
  • Suárez
  • Lukaku
  • Aguero
  • Fonte
  • Puncheon
  • Lambert

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Next Six Ticker

Watchlist

Goalkeepers

Last updated: 15 Apr, 2014 5:24pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Hart MCI B, Vs
Up De Gea MUN C
No Change Cech CHE A, Vs
No Change Szczesny ARS B
No Change Mannone SUN B, £
Up Foster WBA B
No Change Guzan AVL B
Up Stockdale FUL B, £

Defenders

Last updated: 15 Apr, 2014 7:35pm
Player Club Factors
Up Terry CHE A
No Change Zabaleta MCI B, Vs
Up Koscielny ARS B, Vs, Inj
Up Skrtel LIV A
Up Evra MUN B
Up Kaboul TOT B, Vs
No Change Alonso SUN C, OoP, £
Down Coleman EVE B, VsX
No Change Vlaar AVL C, Vs, £
Up Ridgewell WBA C, OoP, £
Up Caulker CAR A
Up Heitinga FUL B, £

Midfielders

Last updated: 17 Apr, 2014 2:45pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Silva MCI B, Vs, Inj
Up Eriksen TOT A, Vs
Up Mata MUN A
Up Gerrard LIV A
Up Lallana SOT B
Up Sterling LIV A, £
Up Ramsey ARS B, Vs
Down Hazard CHE C, Vs, Inj
No Change Johnson SUN C
Up Amalfitano WBA A, £

Forwards

Last updated: 14 Apr, 2014 1:03pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Suárez LIV A
Up Aguero MCI C, Vs, Inj
Up Adebayor TOT B, Vs
No Change Dzeko MCI B, Vs, Rest, £
Down Lukaku EVE B, VsX
Up Giroud ARS C, Vs
No Change Lambert SOT B
Down Sturridge LIV B, Inj
No Change Rooney MUN A, Inj
Up Rodallega FUL A, £

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

“A hit a week every week and finish in the top 50k is just fine and dandy for me. I play the game for the fun and how it improves watching Stoke vs Cardiff on a Monday night in November.”

Wakey on his fantasy management style