Manchester City dismantled Brighton and Hove Albion in a 4-0 victory on Saturday, with Sergio Aguero (£12.0m) stealing the headlines with a brace and an assist to send a timely reminder to Fantasy managers of his explosive potential.
We round up the key talking points in our latest Scout Notes article below.
Manchester City 4-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
- Goals: Sergio Aguero (£12.0m) x2, Kevin de Bruyne (£9.7m), Bernardo Silva (£7.9m)
- Assists: David Silva x2 (£7.4m), de Bruyne, Aguero
- Bonus Points: Aguero x3, de Bruyne x2, David Silva x1
Aguero, owned by just 21.4% of managers, put in a dominant display at the Etihad to secure a 16-point score, with the most captained player of the week, Raheem Sterling (£12.3m), blanking to the disappointment of his 47.3% of owners.
Aguero’s brace against Brighton brings his tally to six goals in City’s first four Premier League matches, and despite the hat-trick from Sterling in Gamweek 1 against West Ham, it is difficult to look past the Argentine as being the Citizens’ primary source of goals in 2019/20.
This presents a serious dilemma to managers already in ownership of Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne (£9.7m), who also delivered a sensational performance with a goal and an assist, with tripling up on City attacking coverage representing a potential overload despite their promising fixtures and imperious offensive form.
De Bruyne was in exceptional nick at the Etihad against Brighton, with the Belgian midfielder exhibiting touches, through-balls and all-round attacking player that attests to him being City’s best player, though remaining fit will be pivotal if the playmaker is to make a serious impact for the Citizens in 2019/20.
With City’s defensive unit returning a second clean sheet of the season against Brighton, and the highly valuable Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.5m) holding his spot in Guardiola’s first-choice backline, retaining a form of defensive coverage from City is also appealing, and therefore the aforementioned triple-up would not only be costly but logistically troublesome, too.
Selecting two of Sterling, de Bruyne and Aguero over the coming Gameweeks will be a serious test for managers who are looking to utilise the goalscoring form of the Citizens, but there is no doubt that these are three players in notable form who are likely to propel City to the top of the Premier League table.
Combine this selection dilemma with Guardiola’s notorious rotation roulette and selecting the right City assets who are not only in form but who are likely to start ahead of a promising run of fixtures is where ground will be seriously made or lost for managers with regards to assets from City.
Bernardo Silva (£7.9m) also chipped in with a goal during his substitute appearance after being assisted by Aguero to complete the rout, whilst David Silva (£7.4m) contributed two exquisite assists to also remind managers of his potential for attacking returns, with the Silva duo highlighting the sheer depth of options at Pep Guardiola’s disposal.
City were rampant against Graham Potter’s Brighton, though a devastating injury to Aymeric Laporte (£6.5m), who was replaced by Fernandinho (£5.3m) in the first half, could curtail the Frenchman’s season – causing a forced transfer for the 8% of managers who own the City centre-back.
The question also has to be asked about whether Laporte’s period of unavailability also makes City’s other FPL defenders less appealing as a result, given that he has been the bedrock of the champions’ backline for the last 12 months.
Speaking after the game, Guardiola said:
I think he’s gone to hospital. It doesn’t look good. I don’t know right now what he has done, but we will know tomorrow.
We’ll see. They’re diagnosing what he has right now. I’m waiting for the doctor to call me. He might be out for a while.
Laporte’s injury, combined with the ever-changing power dynamic in City’s frontline, is the main takeaway from their impressive victory over Brighton, though the Seagulls, despite exhibiting promising early-season form, now find themselves winless in three.
There were plenty of encouraging signs from this defeat, however, with Leandro Trossard (£6.0m) getting into a series of threatening positions but being unable to convert two excellent chances either side of half-time.
Adam Webster (£4.4m) started in place of Shane Duffy (£5.0m) though the £20m summer signing from Bristol City was unable to prevent the barrage of City attacks as Potter’s side, for all their admirable attacking ambition, became unstuck at the home of the champions.
This was an afternoon that belonged to the imperious Aguero, but the decisions that Fantasy managers now have to make regarding attacking coverage from City alongside the devastating injury to Laporte may lead to the deployment of Wildcards for those looking to solve the problems arising from the defensive injuries and sensational form from City’s attacking options.
Manchester City XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Laporte (Fernandinho 37′), Zinchenko; De Bruyne (Gundogan 70′), Rodrigo, David Silva (Bernardo Silva 79′); Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling.
Brighton & Hove Albion (3-4-3): Ryan; Webster, Dunk, Burn; Montoya, Propper, Stephens, Bernardo (Murray 67′); Maupay (Connolly 67′), March, Trossard (Gross 74′).
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