Man City 1-1 Liverpool
- Goals: Gabriel Jesus (£9.3m) | Mohamed Salah (£12.4m)
- Assists: Kevin De Bruyne (£11.5m) | Sadio Mané (£12.0m)
- Missed penalties: De Bruyne
- Bonus points: Jesus x3, Salah x2, João Cancelo x1 (£5.4m)
CITIZEN OR KANE?
Fantasy Premier League managers may want to get another look at Manchester City’s attacking assets before pulling the trigger on a Gameweek 9 transfer.
Ahead of a swing of fixtures in Gameweek 10, Pep Guardiola’s men are still struggling to hit their exhilarating best this season, most recently in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday.
The last time they scored more than one goal in a Premier League match was the 5-2 home defeat to Leicester in Gameweek 2 which preceded a run of consecutive matches in which they found the net just once.
Despite threatening very little against Liverpool, Raheem Sterling (£11.5m), remains Manchester City’s highest-scoring Fantasy asset this season, with 33 points, but ranks as low as joint-43rd when compared against the entire player pool.
Such statistics are largely unheard-of during Guardiola’s tenure at Manchester City, who have now drawn three of their last five Premier League matches, as many as in their previous 70.
As a result, the Citizens do not look quite ready to command the full attention of Fantasy managers looking to replace Son Heung-min (£9.6m) or Harry Kane (£11.0m) when Spurs’ fixtures turn for the worst in Gameweek 9. Considering Hakim Ziyech (£8.1m) and Timo Werner (£9.4m) are showing some consistency as well as favourable fixtures of their own, Manchester City assets certainly need to improve soon.
JESUS AT THE CENTRE
Whether or not Manchester City can get back to the devastating attacking form we have come to know is likely to depend on Gabriel Jesus (£9.3m).
The Brazilian made a first start since Gameweek 2 on Sunday, slotting back into the void he left through injury, naturally fulfilling the role better than Sterling, Ferran Torres (£6.9m) and Mahrez have in his absence.
As a result, despite Liverpool’s attacking 4-2-3-1 formation, it was Manchester City who slightly edged their opponents in terms of looking the more dangerous outfit going forward.
That led to Jesus scoring an excellent goal on the turn and ensuring he has found the net in both of his Premier League starts this season.
Considering the price points of players Fantasy managers are likely to sell, it is certainly easier to replace Kane with Jesus than finding the money to upgrade Son to Sterling or Kevin De Bruyne (£11.5m).
“He was really good. I didn’t expect he could sustain 90 minutes, but he did. He helped us. He made a fantastic goal – a good goal. It was a good result for him.” – Pep Guardiola
JOTA THAT DOWN
Despite blanking against Manchester City, the long-term Fantasy credentials of Diogo Jota (£6.5m) were handed a boost on Sunday.
After scoring six goals in his four matches in all competitions previous to Gameweek 8, he has already attracted 8.5% but many of us have been reticent to secure the services of someone who is hardly a nailed-on starter at Liverpool.
In order to facilitate Jota in the team, Jurgen Klopp usually has to switch to 4-2-3-1 and station him on the right-hand side of attacking midfield, although this is a formation he has used sparingly in the calendar year of 2020.
But that could be about to change, when we consider the Liverpool manager has now set his team up with that shape in two of the last five matches in all competitions and has admitted that we could see it more often.
“When you can do it (start Salah, Mané, Firmino and Jota) against City then you can do it against other teams as well. It will not be our new, all-the-time [formation] but there are moments when we might use it. That’s very helpful for us. Usually, people know which system we play, that’s now water under the bridge. From now on we can play three or four different systems, which is good, and tonight it worked really well. We wanted to use the skills and the power of the four up-front in specific moments to cause City problems, that’s one thing. The other thing is that we all like to prepare a game in the way that we know exactly what the opponent is doing and Pep, I don’t think he knew we would play 4-4-2. It’s not important but it needed a while for City to adapt to it, that was the plan for today. We will not have used that the last time.” – Jurgen Klopp
Finally, there will be plenty of attention on the outcome of Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s (£7.4m) scan, following an enforced substitution at Manchester City.
“Trent will be out for England, that is clear. What he has, we don’t know, but he cannot play for England. He will not be the last and not the only one who Gareth [Southgate] will miss for this international break. He will have a scan tomorrow and then we will see.” – Jurgen Klopp
Manchester City XI (4-2-3-1): Ederson; Cancelo, Laporte, Dias, Walker; Gündogan, Rodri; Sterling, De Bruyne, Torres (B Silva 61′); Jesus.
Liverpool XI (4-2-3-1): Alisson; Robertson, Gomez, Matip, Alexander-Arnold (Milner 63′); Wijnaldum, J Henderson; Mané, Firmino (Shaqiri 59′), Jota; Salah.
Lessons Learned from FPL Gameweek 8
- Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 Burnley
- Southampton 2-0 Newcastle United
- Everton 1-3 Manchester United
- Crystal Palace 4-1 Leeds United
- Chelsea 4-1 Sheffield United
- West Ham United 1-0 Fulham
- West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
- Leicester City 1-0 Wolves
- Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool
- Arsenal 0-3 Aston Villa
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