Scout Notes

Guardiola plants clues to Chelsea selection in Watford win

Pep Guardiola frustrated Fantasy Premier League owners with his team selection on Tuesday night.

Several key players were absent from the Manchester City side as they beat Watford 3-1.

We’ve got all the Fantasy talking points in this latest Scout Notes article.

*FPL prices are accurate at the time of writing (Tuesday PM).

Watford 1-2 Manchester City

Goals: Abdoulaye Doucouré (£5.9m) | Leroy Sané (£9.4m), Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m)

Assists: Mahrez

The team Pep Guardiola put out for their trip to Watford provided some clues to his rotation policy ahead of the busy winter period. Several of the players who missed out on the 3-1 win over Bournemouth came back in at Vicarage Road. David Silva (£8.7m), Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m), Fabian Delph (£5.3m) and Kyle Walker (£6.5m) were the headline changes to the side.

Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling (£11.5m) was left on the bench for just the third time this season. Some rotation for him should not come as too much of a shock, though. He played the full 90 minutes against Bournemouth amid Guardiola’s recent comments that Mahrez was breathing down his neck to rotate with him.

With the Algerian in excellent form when he does play, Guardiola can be confident playing him whenever he needs to give Sterling a rest – which could be quite often over the next month. In Mahrez’s last four Premier League starts he has amassed a total of three goals and two assists now as he was the top FPL scorer at Vicarage Road (13 points). Sterling owners can probably be confident of a start at the weekend though, with Tuesday’s rest under his belt.

Leroy Sané (£9.4m) continued his excellent form by scoring the fourth goal in his last five appearances, taking his points per game over that time to 9.2. As has been said plenty of times, his place in the side does feel more secure than those around him because of Benjamin Mendy’s relatively long-term absence. However, there can be no ignoring of the fact that the German international has now played 180 minutes across the last two fixtures. That may be enough for Guardiola to consider benching him for Chelsea, although it is a big game for Manchester City.

“Now we try to recover our legs and minds and go to Chelsea on Saturday and play our game. We know how difficult it is at Stamford Bridge, but first, we must rest and recover.” – Pep Guardiola

Also out of the side was Aymeric Laporte (£6.1m) who finally missed a match this season. That reconfirmed that nobody in this Manchester City side is safe from Guardiola’s rotation policy. The French centre-back had played every single minute in the Premier League up until the trip to Watford. He will probably come back in for the Chelsea match but this benching shows that over Christmas he may not necessarily be as nailed on as his owners might hope. Frustrating for his owners he came on for a one-point cameo in the closing stages. Responding to Watford’s late flurry, Guardiola introduced him for Gabriel Jesus (£10.1m) to sure things up.

Calling the full-back selection may be easier to call based on Manchester City’s line-up at Watford. Delph may have to continue at left-back with Zinchenko’s nose injury, but the fact that he played only the last half an hour against Bournemouth should mean he is rested enough in Guardiola’s mind. Walker also missed that one which means his 90 minutes in Hertfordshire shouldn’t jeopardise a start ahead of Danilo (£5.1m) at Stamford Bridge.

Prior to that were some clues about the options Guardiola wants to safeguard for the trip to Stamford Bridge in Gameweek 16. David Silva was replaced in the 73rd minute by Ilkay Gundogan (£5.4m) in a clear sign that the Spanish midfielder is needed this weekend. It is possible that Vincent Kompany (£5.2m) will be able to keep his place after coming off in the 83rd minute. The Belgian international had to leave the pitch limping, holding his hamstring, but Guardiola confirmed it as nothing more than cramp post-match. Kompany will face competition from both Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi (£6.1m), who combined for just nine minutes of normal time in Hertfordshire. Having played 90 minutes, John Stones (£5.3m) is unlikely to hold onto his place.

As expected, Sergio Aguero (£11.5m) missed out once again after his recent struggles with injury. The Argentinian did not travel with the matchday squad and neither did Oleksandr Zinchenko (£4.8m), and Guardiola was not prepared to give an update on their condition in the aftermath of Tuesday night’s win.

“I don’t know (if Aguero will be fit). I don’t have the report right now.” – Pep Guardiola

Overall, it was not a hugely comfortable win for Manchester City, especially as Watford fought back late on. However, they did have plenty of chances to kill the game earlier on but didn’t take them. It is possible that six changes were what removed the ruthless edge. A testament to the quality in their ranks was the fact that even with the likes of Sterling and Aguero, Manchester City sill secured the three points.

“We had the chances to kill the game and score a third and then maybe a fourth, but we missed them. It is what it is. We knew it. We are not new in this league and we know it happens.” – Pep Guardiola

Javi Gracia made three changes to the side that lost at Leicester at the weekend. Christian Kabasele (£4.4m) returned at centre-back, coming in for Adrian Mariappa (£4.2m), Troy Deeney (£5.9m) replaced Gerard Deulofeu (£5.4m) up front while Nathaniel Chalobah (£4.5m) slotted in for the suspended Etienne Capoue (£5.0m).

“We tried to find the best option with Capoue out. It was the best option in my opinion – trying to be strong and compact in the middle with three players there plus Roberto, Troy and Isaac ready when we recover the ball to counter-attack. I think he played well. I think he needs to play more times to show what he can do but I think he showed a very good level.” – Javi Gracia

Will Hughes (£5.0m) was forced out of the game in the second half with a knock and was replaced by Domingos Quina (£4.4m), who made his first ever Premier League appearance.

“(Quina) is training well. He’s a young player but with high quality. I think he has a very good present but he will have a great future. Today is a special day for him because he has done his debut against City and played very well in my opinion.” – Javi Gracia

“(On Hughes) I think it’s the same pain as in the last games – in the hip. We’ll see in the next games but I’m confident he’ll be ready for the next game.” – Javi Gracia

Manchester City XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Delph, Stones, Kompany (Otamendi 83′), Walker; Fernandinho, D. Silva (Gundogan 73′), B. Silva; Sane, Mahrez, Jesus (Laporte 88′).

Watford XI (4-4-2): Foster; Holebas, Kabasele, Cathcart, Kiko Femenia; Pereyra, Doucouré, Chalobah (Deulofeu 63′); Hughes (Quina 51′); Deeney, Success (Gray 75′).

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1,300 Comments Post a Comment
  1. SOTHPAW
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    4 days, 9 hours ago

    Going to free up some cash, would you transfer out Robbo or Alonso? I have TAA.

    1. DAVESAVES
      • 1 Year
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      Robbo

    2. dmkp
      • 3 Years
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      Robbo

    3. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      Ooh tough one indeed.

      1. SOTHPAW
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        4 days, 9 hours ago

        I know. Robertson playing better than Alonso imo and Liverpool have a better defence than Chelsea, but dare I drop Alonso?

    4. altan8797
      • 2 Years
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      robbo.

    5. Demigod Mendy
      • 1 Year
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      I ditched Robertson for Trippier last week. Alonso will get the chop next - possibly for a cheapie to bolster my front 7.

      1. altan8797
        • 2 Years
        4 days, 9 hours ago

        thought the same but didnt think trip would be back this week. nice move and I still cant do it bcs of arnie now 😀

        1. Demigod Mendy
          • 1 Year
          4 days, 9 hours ago

          Arnie is a donk. Has been such a pain in the arse ever since I bought him. Just one decent haul vs Burnley. Worse, the striker I sold to get him in back then was Auba. Ouch!

          1. HIAFL (Howe to Train your D…
            • 1 Year
            4 days, 9 hours ago

            oof

    6. kuzser
      • 1 Year
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      Had the same question on WC and ditched both. Got Taa and Trippier

    7. danishdynamite
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      Both. Alonso first though - not delivering attacking returns full stop

  2. Sgt Frank Drebin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    4 days, 9 hours ago

    I feel it's a day Michael Keane sends a beautiful header into the corner of the net 😎 Can't wait.

    1. Demigod Mendy
      • 1 Year
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      *into the corner of his own net

    2. Jᴀʀᴠ oғ Tʜᴇ Gᴀʟ…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      That's a pretty tall order. You're gonna have to give me a couple of days on that one.

      1. Sgt Frank Drebin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        4 days, 9 hours ago

        I can wait till the next GW, no problem.

    3. Black Knights
      • 6 Years
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      Just ditched him on WC for Trippier... i'm a bit anxious about him!

      1. Sgt Frank Drebin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        4 days, 9 hours ago

        You should be. Double digit scores incoming 😎

    4. altan8797
      • 2 Years
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      or chips the ball to the far post with his head where richarlison is waiting to score

      1. Sgt Frank Drebin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        4 days, 9 hours ago

        I'll take that. I would prefer Richarlison not to score though

  3. altan8797
    • 2 Years
    4 days, 9 hours ago

    any chance that arnie might be back next week?

    1. Demigod Mendy
      • 1 Year
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      Looked bad to me, so not sure.

    2. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      There’s always a chance with Arnie.

    3. Amey
        4 days, 9 hours ago

        Hamstring injury takes time. I think he'll be rested completely now to recover his knees too.

      • Nose for baps
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        4 days, 8 hours ago

        Not really, no. He has to go now, even for a hit.

    4. Federico
      • 6 Years
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      I have no Bournemouth players, and need an enabler in midfield (from GW16) for up to 6.8.
      Fraser still the one to get?

      Jimenez is my third striker, and I don't think I'll spend an FT on Wilson, at least not for a while.

      1. altan8797
        • 2 Years
        4 days, 9 hours ago

        If you spend time on whether to buy him or not (like I did 7-8 weeks ago) you'll find some reasons not to buy him, be it the fixtures or the fear of having missed his glory period. I say stop thinking and buy him already 😀

        1. Federico
          • 6 Years
          4 days, 9 hours ago

          I think I will, it makes good sense in my setup.

          I got rid of Fraser and King on my GW5 WC. Has been one of my downfalls this season, besides risking to go without Aguero at the wrong times.

        2. EMERGING STAR
          • 2 Years
          4 days, 6 hours ago

          This is called a strong advice. Nice one brother.

      2. danishdynamite
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        4 days, 9 hours ago

        Fraser. Added bonus is that he rotates nicely enough with Jimi over the coming fixture mess

    5. Valar(Keith)
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      Reckon Ederson is worth holding onto? City are making one mistake a game and conceding yet they look more solid than any team in the league for most games.. Its annoying really. That being said their fixtures after Chelsea are mint and Ederson is the one member in that defense who will be present for every game. Reckon fab with his saves and baps could out score him over the medium term?

      1. maglia rosa
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 days, 18 hours ago

        Those mistakes are a worry, as you say otherwise they look very capable of steady returns. The pressure comes when funds are tight with wandering eyes to attackers. I have double pool defence and its worked much better but with those fixtures City clean sheets and points must surely come. It's a constant issue to deliberate though as Fab does give you that million that would be so so handy.

    6. Bat Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      Can I get a Son vs Sane and cash for the following slot please:

      Ryan Button
      Alonso TAA Doherty Balbuena Bennett
      Sterling xxx Rich Fraser Billing
      Kane Auba Jiminez

      Extra cash could be used to upgrade Jiminez to Mitro if Son, or defense.

    7. chris8910
      • 8 Years
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      https://www.getfootballnewsgermany.com/2018/analysis-the-strengths-and-weaknesses-of-rb-leipzig-under-ralph-hasenhuttl/

      Decent article outlining how the new Southampton manager set up his Leipzig team. Not sure this description "This pressing team has one of the most exciting squads in the Bundesliga. It’s a squad full of youth, power, speed and technical abilities that put many other squads to shame" can be applied to Southampton though 😆

    8. Cesc Pistols
      • 5 Years
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      Looking for a budget defender (4.5/5m MAX).Should I:

      A) Punt on Foyth or Holding (how nailed are they, though?)
      B) Play it safe and go Chambers/Balbuena/Digne/Other.

      1. dmkp
        • 3 Years
        4 days, 9 hours ago

        Easily Digne

        1. Cesc Pistols
          • 5 Years
          4 days, 9 hours ago

          How do you like Everton's fixtures, though?

    9. AJ24
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 days, 9 hours ago

      Rate my WC Team

      Fabianski, Hart
      Alonso, Alex-Arnold, Bavies, Bennett, Wan-Bissaka
      Sterling, Perreya, Anderson, Richarlison, Camarasa
      Kane, Aubemanyang, Jimenez

      1. _figu
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        4 days, 6 hours ago

        Hart to 4, dont like Davies pick. Would prefer Trippier

    10. aspilcueta
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      4 days, 8 hours ago

      I got rid of Aubameyang in GW6, because he wasn't pointing/getting the minutes as much as I would have hoped.

      Then the hauls began.

      Back in as of this week, let's see what he can do. Hopefully a season keeper (if there ever was such a thing).

    11. _figu
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      4 days, 6 hours ago

      Who is on pens for Arsenal? Pretty sure Laca took the last one when they were both on the pitch.

      1. Pieterke30
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        4 days, 6 hours ago

        Indeed. Which means we dont know.

        They will probably both take penalties. Not one taker set in stone

      2. Speedu
        • 1 Year
        4 days, 3 hours ago

        Ayba had scored two already in that game and cave pen to Laca who had not scored for ages.
        So pretty sure Ayba on pens

    12. Numbuster
      • 2 Years
      3 days, 18 hours ago

      Captain GW16
      Auba (HUD) or Kane (LEI)?

    13. Kopkloppers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 days, 17 hours ago

      I have Kane and Arnie gone.
      Martial for Son or Anderson?

    14. Starsleague
        3 days, 9 hours ago

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