Pep Guardiola has given Manchester City’s rotation roulette wheel its first spin of the season with Sergio Aguero (£12m) dropping to the bench for the 12:30 kick-off against West Ham United.
The benching of Aguero, owned by 19% of managers, will be seen as a serious blow to the Argentine’s ability to be considered as a starting striker with further concern over whether he can be a reliable asset for the 2019/20 campaign.
Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m) taking up a place in the front-three alongside Raheem Sterling (£12.0m) but at this stage, we are not sure which of those two will be in the centre-forward role and which will feature on the left flank of the attack.
Guardiola’s decision to bench Aguero, while influenced by his busy summer, is eerily reminiscent of the 2017/18 campaign for Fantasy managers following the arrival of Jesus at the Etihad.
It must be remembered that the Brazilian actually spent longer at the Copa America than Aguero and yet has been given a greater role for City since his return. So this could mark a worrying precedent for Aguero owners ahead of the new season.
At a price of £12m, Aguero simply must be starting every week for the Citizens in order for Fantasy managers to be getting a reliable starting asset at a premium price.
Kevin De Bruyne (£9.5m) and Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m) are among City’s attacking trident to support the Brazilian, with Mahrez’s ownership of 1.3% giving managers a potential differential in the City frontline.
David Silva (£7.5m) also features in City’s opener against the Hammers, marking his final season with the Citizens with a start in the capital, whilst Bernardo Silva (£8.0m) drops to the bench and, in the process, joins Aguero as an asset that will come under further scrutiny in the opening Gameweeks.
The Portuguese midfielder is currently in over 27% of teams, so his benching will be a big blow to the Fantasy community.
City’s defensive quartet is made up by Kyle Walker (£6.0m), John Stones (£5.5m) Aymeric Laporte (£6.5m) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.5m) with the latter offering a strong value-for-money option in picking defensive coverage for City at a competitive price of £5.5m.
For the Hammers, club-record signing Sebastian Haller (£7.5m) starts up front, with attacking support from Manuel Lanzini (£6.5m) Felipe Anderson (£7.0m) and Michael Antonio (£7.0m) as Manuel Pellegrini aims to conjure up a forward line capable of causing City problems in their Premier League opener.
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