Riyad Mahrez went some way to establishing himself as an important Manchester City asset for the early gameweeks as he made his first appearance of pre-season.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady made cases for inclusion in Fantasy Premier League squads too, although the two are likely to compete for ownership.
Meanwhile, £4.0m defender Jack Simpson scored for Bournemouth on his second start of pre-season, and is an option worth tracking.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND 1-0 MANCHESTER CITY
Riyad Mahrez (£9.0m) made his first Manchester City appearance in a 1-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Friday, stationed on the right flank of a 4-1-4-1 formation.
The Algerian was one of just five FPL options to start the match, alongside goalkeeper Claudio Bravo (£5.0m), Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.0m), Brahim Diaz (£5.0m) and Phil Foden (£5.0m).
By all accounts, Mahrez was City’s brightest player in a side mostly featuring young players as key figures were missing due to involvement at the World Cup.
His presence in the side and strong performance will likely make him a go-to option for investment in Man City’s attack in the early weeks of the season, although Diaz and Foden could also offer great value if they look set to start competitve matches.
Leroy Sané (£9.5m) came on in the second-half and played just 17 minutes of football, although he is expected feature more heavily as pre-season moves on.
The only goal of the match came in the first-half when Zinchenko brought down Christian Pulisic in the area, Mario Gotze covering the penalty kick.
MANCHESTER CITY XI (4-1-4-1): Bravo (Hart 45’); Zinchenko, Denayer (Humphreys-Grant 67’), Garcia, Bolton; Harrison; Douglas Luiz (Sané 73’), Foden (Touaizi 73’), Diaz (Bashiru 66’), Mahrez (Roberts 73’); Nmecha (Garre 73’).
MACCLESFIELD 0-2 BURNLEY
- Goals: Aaron Lennon (£5.0m), Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£6.0m)
- Assists: Jack Cork (£5.0m)
Johann Berg Gudmundson (£6.0m) scored on his return from World Cup duty as Burnley were 2-0 winners at Macclesfield Town on Friday.
The Clarets, for the second time this season, divided their squad evenly between this match and a concurrent one at Curzon Ashton, making it tricky to get a completely accurate fix on Sean Dyche’s best starting XI just yet.
Gudmundsson was arguably Burnley’s best player in this encounter, registering three shots on goal, and taking set-pieces too. His responsibilities in that department could make the difference for Fantasy managers when choosing the best Burnley midfielder to invest in.
But it was Aaron Lennon (£5.0m) who opened the scoring in the end, capitalising on a loose pass.
Not surprisingly, it was a set-piece that gave Gudmundsson his first goal of pre-season. He lashed in a free-kick after Jack Cork (£5.0m) was fouled.
BURNLEY XI (4-4-1-1): Heaton; Taylor, Long, Dunne, Bardsley; Gudmundsson, Cork, Westwood, Lennon; Hendrick; Wood.
CURZON ASHTON 2-5 BURNLEY
Goals: Ben Mee (£5.0m), Sam Vokes x2 (£5.5m), Nakhi Wells (£4.5m), Jonathan Walters (£5.0m)
Assists: Robbie Brady (£5.5m), Matt Lowton x3 (£5.0m)
Matt Lowton (£5.0m) registered a hat-trick of assists as Burnley as they beat Curzon Ashton 5-2, in their second friendly of Friday.
Meanwhile, Robbie Brady (£5.5m) completed 45 minutes on his return from injury and impressed. That may encourage some investment in the former Hull man, currently owned by just 0.1 percent, especially after our recent research found he has the potential to outperform Gudmundsson for creativity in 2018/19.
Brady had an opportunity to open the scoring early on, having been played through by Sam Vokes (£5.5m), but put his effort wide.
It was the non-league hosts who took the lead in the 35th minute, Connor Hughes’ shot deflected past Anders Lindegaard.
Ben Mee (£5.0m) equalised soon after, heading in Brady’s corner.
In the second-half, Vokes converted a Lowton cross before Nakhi Wells (£4.5m) smashed in a third goal.
Jonathan Walters (£5.0m) arrived on time in the box to prod home another Lowton cross, before the right-back was the provider for Vokes again.
Tyrell McKenzie pulled one back for Curzon Ashton in the final minute of the match.
BURNLEY XI (4-4-2): Lindegaard; Ward, Mee, Tarkowski, Lowton; Brady (Agyei 45’), McNeil, Goodridge, Walters; Wells, Vokes.
BOURNEMOUTH 4-3 LEVANTE
- Goals: Emerson Hyndman (£4.5m), Jermain Defoe (£6.0m), Jack Simpson (£4.0m), Lewis Cook (£5.0m)
- Assists: Simon Francis (£4.5m), Ryan Fraser (£5.5m), Conor Mahoney
£4.0m defender Jack Simpson started a second pre-season match in a row for Bournemouth and found the net too in a 4-3 win. It may be worth Fantasy managers monitoring how many more starts he makes before the beginning of the 2018/19 season. Currently the only other defender in that bracket who looks in with a chance of comeptitive starts is Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£4.0m).
Emerson Hyndman (£4.5m) opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Simon Francis’ (£4.5m) cross found him on the edge of the area.
Jermain Defoe (£6.0m) scored next, following Ryan Fraser’s (£5.5m) ball into the box. The former Portsmouth and Tottenham man got in front of the defender to flick an effort into the net.
A loose ball fell Kindly to Roger Marti on the edge of the area, who curled his shot into the top corner to get Levante back into the game.
In the 23rd minute the Spanish side were level after Bournemouth lost possession in the midfield. All it took was a ball over the top of their defence to Emmanuel Boateng, who went clear and slotted in.
12 minutes later they were ahead as Ruben Rochina played a ball through the Cherries’ back-line for Marti to get his second, striking across the front of goal and into the net.
But in typical Bournemouth fashion, they soon reversed the tide of the game again. Simpson rising to head in Conor Mahoney’s corner just before half-time.
Lewis Cook (£5.0m) scored the winner in the second-half after Eddie Howe made 11 changes, drilling his effort into the net following a poor clearance.
BOURNEMOUTH FIRST-HALF XI (4-4-1-1): Boruc; Daniels, Simpson, S Cook, Francis; Fraser, Hyndman, Arter, Mahoney; Mousset, Defoe.
BOURNEMOUTH SECOND-HALF XI (4-4-1-1): Begovic; B Smith, Ake, Gosling, A Smith; Pugh, Surman, L Cook, Ibe; Brooks; King.
BRIGHTON 3-0 CRAWLEY
- Goals: Bernardo (£4.5m), Tomer Hemed (£5.0m), Markus Suttner (£4.0m)
- Assists: Davy Pröpper (£5.0m), Bruno (£4.5m)
FPL defender Markus Suttner (£4.0m) started on the left-wing for Brighton in their friendly win against Crawley, scoring in the process too – although it was a largely second-string side used in this match.
Lewis Dunk (£4.5m) could have opened the scoring early-on but he could only hit the cross-bar, latching his header onto a Suttner free-kick.
It was defender Bernardo (£4.5m) who struck first in the end, his effort from range flying into the top corner courtesy of a slight deflection.
Five minutes later the Seagulls scored again, this time Tomer Hemed (£5.0m) converting the chance created by Davy Pröpper (£5.0m).
Brighton’s third was added just after half-time, and was another impressive effort. Right-back Bruno (£4.5m) found himself in space on the edge of the area and pulled off a rabona cross which was volleyed into the net by Suttner at the back-post.
BRIGHTON XI (4-4-1-1): Keto; Bernardo, Dunk, White, Bruno; Suttner, Pröpper, Norwood, Skalak; Towell; Hemed.
TORQUAY UNITED 1-1 CARDIFF CITY
- Goals: Josh Murphy (£5.0m)
- Assists: Joe Ralls (£5.0m)
Josh Murphy (£5.0m) scored Cardiff’s only goal in a draw with National League South outfit Torquay United.
The Bluebirds started the game well with Joe Ralls (£5.0m) creating plenty of chances and Bobby Reid (£5.5m), as ever, looking lively.
Murphy grabbed his goal in the first-half, breaking away after claims for a Torquay penalty were waved away. He pushed on down the right flank, played the ball inside the Ralls, who threaded it back to him in the box to shoot across goal and find the bottom corner.
The Gulls equalised in the second-half after six changes made by Neil Warnock at half-time, Ruairi Keating getting behind Cardiff’s defence to score.
The Bluebirds had plenty of chances to win the game but could not take them.
Kenneth Zohore (£5.0m) returned to the side after his wife gave birth last week and played alongside Reid in a front-two for the first 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, second-half substitute Danny Ward (£4.5m), who had four goals in two prior to the match, hobbled off with an injury on the hour-mark – although it is not thought to be serious.
CARDIFF CITY XI (4-4-2): Smithies (Etheridge 45’); Bennett (Cunningham 45’), Ecuele Manga (Bamba 45’), Morrison, Peltier (Richards); Murphy (Ward 45’ | Harris 61’), Ralls, Paterson, Hoilett; Zohore (Madine 45’), Reid (Damour 45’).