Sheff Utd 0-1 Man City
- Goals: Kyle Walker (£6.0m)
- Assists: Kevin De Bruyne (£11.5m)
- Bonus points: Walker x3, João Cancelo x2 (£5.4m), Aymeric Laporte x1 (£6.0m)
João Cancelo (£5.4m) is fast-becoming the key Manchester City defender ahead of their fixture swing in Gameweek 10 as he starred in a 1-0 win over Sheffield United.
While Kyle Walker (£6.0m) emerged with a 15-point haul, thanks to his spectacular first-half goal, it was Pep Guardiola’s left-back who suggested more sustainable output.
Since making his first Premier League start at that position in Gameweek 5, Cancelo is yet to blank, averaging seven points per game.
In that time, the Portuguese international has collected two clean sheets and, even though he has only managed to provide one assist, that has not been for lack of trying.
In the first half alone against the Blades, Cancelo created more chances than any Manchester City defender in a Premier League match since February 2012. That impressive tally was a big reason why he was able to secure two bonus points despite registering no attacking returns.
However, Fantasy managers may still want to hold off before going all-in on Cancelo or anyone from the Manchester City defence.
They face Liverpool (home) and Spurs (away) in the next two Gameweeks, two sides that are likely to be hard to contain.
Gameweek 10 looks like the time swoop for Cancelo, with home matches against Burnley, Fulham and West Bromwich Albion between then and Gameweek 13.
Waiting until then may also help Aymeric Laporte (£6.0m) and Ruben Dias (£5.5m) settle into together as a centre-back duo.
The trip to Sheffield United was only the second time this season that Guardiola has been able to start the two players but there is plenty of promise about having the two of them together.
2019/20 was a sub-standard year for the Citizens in terms of defensive returns, and their manager has already highlighted that consistency at centre-back will make a big difference this season.
“(Laporte + Dias) are both playing really well. They are guys to give us consistency. We struggle a lot last year to have two central defenders (every week). This year, we will need everyone because these amount of games it is impossible to play both every game.” – Pep Guardiola
Cancelo and Raheem Sterling (£11.6m) were afforded a considerable amount of freedom on Saturday, as they made the most of Sheffield United’s weak right flank.
Between Gameweeks 1 and 6, the Blades conceded more chances down their side of the pitch than any other team in the Premier League and that trend continued at Bramall Lane.
As you can see from the match data breakdown, there was an uneven spread of opportunities given up by Chris Wilder’s men. They allowed 10 chances, of which 70% were constructed on the right-hand side.
While Sheffield United’s problems here may have helped Cancelo’s numbers, they bare more Fantasy relevance when examining the Gameweek 8 fixtures.
The Blades travel to Chelsea next weekend and, if Wilder has done little to shore up George Baldock‘s (£5.3m) side of the pitch by that point, we could see Ben Chilwell (£5.9m) and Timo Werner (£9.3m) take advantage.
FRONT AND CENTRE
Ferran Torres (£6.9m) can consider himself unfortunate not to have left Bramall Lane without some attacking returns.
Having netted as a centre-forward in the Champions League midweek, Manchester City’s number 21 was given a chance to reprise that role in Gameweek 7.
“It’s a new position for him but he did it well (against Marseilles). We have other people in the middle but the striker position is the most difficult one. He did really well and we try again.” – Pep Guardiola
Torres was the chief beneficiary of Cancelo’s marauding runs and incessant chance creation, as he had three golden chances to score during the game, Aaron Ramsdale (£4.9m) proving equal to him each time.
However, whether the £6.9m midfielder can offer long-term appeal as an out-of-position asset remains to be seen, with Gabriel Jesus (£9.3m) closing in on a return to fitness.
That should, hopefully, mean an end to Sterling having to deputise up-front as well. He was tasked with that role in the final 10 minutes of Gameweek 7 as Phil Foden (£6.6m) came on for Torres.
Sheffield United XI (3-5-2): Ramsdale; Stevens, Egan, Basham; Lowe (McGoldrick 81′), Osborn (Lundstram 55′), Ampadu (Norwood 65′), Berge, Baldock; Brewster, McBurnie.
Manchester City XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Cancelo, Laporte, Dias, Walker; Rodrigo, De Bruyne, B Silva; Sterling, Torres (Foden 81′), Mahrez (Gündogan 85′).
LESSONS LEARNED FROM FPL GAMEWEEK 7
- Wolves 2-0 Crystal Palace
- Sheffield United 0-1 Manchester City
- Burnley 0-3 Chelsea
- Liverpool 2-1 West Ham United
- Aston Villa 3-4 Southampton
- Newcastle United 2-1 Everton
- Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal
- Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Fulham 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
- Leeds United 1-4 Leicester City