Manchester City are currently sweating over the fitness of Kevin de Bruyne (£9.8m) after he came off injured in the League Cup.
However, there were some positives for Fantasy Premier League managers as neither one of Sergio Aguero (£11.3m) or Benjamin Mendy (£6.4m) were involved in the 2-0 win over Fulham.
We’ve got all the Fantasy talking points in this latest Scout Notes article.
Manchester City 2-0 Fulham
Goals: Brahim Diaz x2 (£4.7m)
Assists: Vincent Kompany (£5.2m)
It was a mixed night for De Bruyne as he made his first start since sustaining a knee injury in August. He was in excellent form on the night but had to be brought off in the second half after falling awkwardly under a Timothy Fosu-Mensah (£4.5m) tackle. Thankfully for him, the knee he was clutching as he limped off was not the one he damaged over the summer, but it is still early days, until we get another update from Pep Guardiola.
“I think today Kevin is back. The Kevin we know. He made a huge effort against Shakhtar, played a few minutes against Spurs in difficult conditions. Today he was involved in offence and defence. Hopefully what happened in the last minute is not serious. He is being checked by the doctors. We don’t know if it’s nothing or if it’s something serious.” – Pep Guardiola
Guardiola made 10 changes to the side that won at Spurs on Monday night with only John Stones (£5.3m) keeping his place. That was good news for a large number of Fantasy managers invested in Aguero and Mendy, who played no part in the match.
Aymeric Laporte (£5.8m) looks set to start an eleventh successive Premier League match on Sunday after he was left out of the match-day squad entirely.
Ederson (£5.8m), Kyle Walker (£6.6m), Bernardo Silva (£7.6m) and Raheem Sterling (£11.1m) were all unused substitutes, while Riyad Mahrez (£8.6m) came on for goal-scorer Brahim Diaz (£4.7m) in the closing stages. The youngster continues to impress in matches outside the Premier League but is still yet to register an FPL minute this season.
“Everybody was good. Brahim make two goals, Aro make a clean sheet. We didn’t concede too many chances, he gave us good security, Phil Foden every time he plays a good level.” – Pep Guardiola
Most of the starting XI against Fulham were always unlikely to be starting against Southampton this weekend so there are not expected to be many Fantasy managers too worried about the so-called ‘Pep Roulette’ this weekend. 90 minutes for Stones and Leroy Sané (£9.2m), as well as De Bruyne’s 86 minutes and injury, are the biggest causes for concern.
There was a start in goal for Arijanet Muric (£4.5m) with Oleksandr Zinchenko (£4.8m), Vincent Kompany (£5.2m) and Danilo (£5.1m) joining Stones in a back-four. Despite fielding a second-strike defence, Man City kept their eighth successive clean sheet in domestic competitions this season.
That will be somewhat discouraging to owners of Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.9m) and Andre Schürrle (£6.0m), as they formed part of a fairly strong Fulham line-up that offered little. There were just three changes from the side that lost to Bournemouth in Gameweek 10.
“It’s not so strange in this country (to name a strong side in the EFL Cup), especially teams plays Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, between these three games it’s nine days and I try first of all respect the competition.” – Slavisa Jokanovic
Despite playing what constituted as a first-team, Fulham were exceptionally flat throughout the encounter. From the moment Diaz’s opening goal hit the back of the net in the 18th minute the match felt more like a training exercise than a cup tie.
Once again the Cottagers’ forward players were starved of service and barely troubled their illustrious hosts. That was largely down to the fact that Slavisa Jokanovic appeared insistent in playing the ball out from the back. Naturally, this was not particularly effective against the best possession side in the country.
There had been suggestions that Fulham would benefit from Luciano Vietto (£5.5m) and Tom Cairney (£4.8m), the former for his creative link-up with Mitrovic and the latter for protection of the defence. Admittedly this was a match against Manchester City, but it appears they did not have the desired effect in a drab performance.
“It’s important for us (having Cairney back), between other things I try to force him for all the games. I know in life there always exists risk, he push all the game bravely, he made good work, he needed this kind of situation with this kind of game. He didn’t play so much this season, he’s an important player for us and I believe he is positive in everything he made tonight.” – Slavisa Jokanovic
Manchester City XI (4-3-3): Muric; Zinchenko, Kompany, Stones, Danilo; Foden, Delph, De Bruyne (Gomes 86′); Sané, Jesus, Diaz (Mahrez 78′).
Fulham XI (4-3-3): Rico; R Sessegnon, Ream (Le Marchand 69′), Odoi, Fosu-Mensah; Seri, Zambo Anguissa, Cairney; Schürrle (Ayité 81′), Mitrović, Vietto (Christie 90′).
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