Man City 5-0 Burnley
- Goals: Riyad Mahrez x3 (£8.2m), Benjamin Mendy (£5.9m), Ferran Torres (£6.9m)
- Assists: Kevin De Bruyne x2 (£11.6m), Kyle Walker (£6.2m), Gabriel Jesus (£9.3m), Phil Foden (£6.5m)
- Bonus points: Mahrez x3, B Mendy x2, De Bruyne x1, Walker x1
Kevin De Bruyne (£11.6m) and his Manchester City colleagues sent an emphatic statement to Fantasy Premier League managers in their 5-0 win over Burnley on Saturday afternoon.
This was the first fixture of an appealing run for Pep Guardiola’s men which continues with Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle all set to visit the Etihad Stadium between now and Gameweek 15.
And it appears that Manchester City have hit top gear just in time as their win over Burnley was the first time since Gameweek 2 that they scored more than twice in a match, while De Bruyne registered his first double-digit haul since that trip to Wolves.
He provided two assists in the rout but could have come away with more, nearly lobbing Bailey Peacock-Farrell (£4.0m) before striking the post in stoppage time.
Following a much-needed midweek rest, the Belgian is the clear favourite to snap up for reliable starts from Gameweek 11 onwards, especially considering he is already the most popular Manchester City asset (19%).
However, it is still worth noting how much of a differential De Bruyne actually is compared to other similarly-priced midfielders, a strange concept indeed.
At the time of writing, Diogo Jota (22.8%), James Rodríguez (28.3%), Mohamed Salah (29.6%), Bruno Fernandes (37.6%), Jack Grealish (41.8%) and Son Heung-min (57.6%) all sit in more teams than De Bruyne, none of which can offer the same level of appealing fixtures in the next four or five Gameweeks.
Considering Manchester City host Fulham next time out, De Bruyne is sure to be a popular captain option for Gameweek 11 and that alone could be enough to force the hands of those without his services.
De Bruyne’s credentials for the coming weeks are arguably boosted when we consider who the alternatives are for Fantasy investment.
For the fourth time in seven meetings with Burnley, Raheem Sterling (£11.5m) was named on the bench and, even though he stayed there throughout Saturday’s match and is theoretically more likely to start against Fulham, Gameweek 10 will not have helped Fantasy managers trust the Englishman.
Meanwhile, a hat-trick for Riyad Mahrez (£8.2m) is sure to take the national headlines but even FPL newcomers will know the Algerian is a poisoned chalice of Fantasy points.
The former Leicester man was brilliant against Burnley, thoroughly deserving of a 21-point haul but it was the first time he had not blanked since Gameweek 3. Furthermore, Mahrez has completed 90 minutes just once in the last four Gameweeks.
Still, Guardiola used his performance to send a warning to his other attacking players.
“Of course it can help us, especially for Riyad. For the other ones, Gabriel has to score goals, the others have to score goals, Sterling when he plays has to score goals. They haven’t scored much and have to score goals. That is the reason why they are here and play up front.” – Pep Guardiola
Looking for a cheaper alternative is also a risky manoeuvre right now, when we consider that Phil Foden (£6.5m) has started one Premier League match since Gameweek 5.
While benchings sometimes indicate a start in the next match is incoming, a string of five in a row is certainly enough to mistrust the England international as a reliable option for Fulham’s trip to the Etihad Stadium next time out.
By comparison, Ferran Torres (£6.9m) has now started the last four in a row, finally delivering on his promise and getting a first Premier League goal.
Still, if Sterling is to come in for Gameweek 11, it would mean dropping one of either the Spaniard or Mahrez. Guardiola will not be swayed by the Algerian’s hat-trick, you would imagine but predicting who that might be might be too much for anyone considering Torres, even if his minutes were managed in Gameweek 10, replaced by Foden in the 67th minute.
Gabriel Jesus (£9.3m), who has two attacking returns in his last three, completing 90 minutes consistently since Gameweek 8, might benefit from Sergio Aguero‘s (£10.3m) injury situation for maybe one more week.
The Argentinian missed the meeting with Burnley and does not sound ready to make an immediate return although Guardiola insists he is not injured.
“It’s not dangerous. Not injury. The reaction sometimes the knee, swollen. Hopefully tomorrow he can come back to training.” – Pep Guardiola
Among those rotated out of the starting line-up was João Cancelo (£5.6m), who proved popular with Wildcarders inside the top 10,000 FPL managers for Gameweek 10.
With Benjamin Mendy (£5.9m) featuring in midweek, it had been thought that Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.5m) might come in for Cancelo, if he were to be benched, but the Frenchman was chosen for a second consecutive start in all competitions.
Interestingly, Cancelo stayed on the bench for the duration as Mendy was handed a rare 90-minute outing, in which he scored his first goal of the season.
Owners of the Portuguese full-back will likely wait in worry for Manchester City’s next Champions League line-up and Guardiola’s next press conference.
Selling one of their defenders ahead of a match-up with Fulham will take nerves of steel but it seems unlikely that we will be handed concrete clues about left-back selection, as is usually the case with Guardiola, who has already put out one ominous quote regarding Mendy.
“(Asked about Mendy’s goal) It is important for our people to score goals. If they score goals, they have more chance to keep playing.” – Pep Guardiola
Perhaps the real winner among Manchester City defenders in Gameweek 10 was Rúben Dias (£5.6m) who has now started each of the last seven Premier League matches and even had his minutes managed against Burnley, coming off after 69 minutes to bank a clean sheet before his colleagues did.
Manchester City XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Mendy, Stones, Dias (Garcia 70′), Walker; Gundogan, Rodrigo (Fernandinho 46′), De Bruyne; Torres (Foden 67′), Jesus, Mahrez.
Burnley XI (4-3-3): Peacock-Farrell; C Taylor, Mee, Tarkowski, Lowton; McNeil, Benson, Westwood; Rodriguez, Wood, A Barnes.
Lessons Learned from FPL Gameweek 10
- Crystal Palace 0-2 Newcastle United
- Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 Liverpool
- Manchester City 5-0 Burnley
- Everton 0-1 Leeds United
- West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Sheffield United
- Southampton 2-3 Manchester United
- Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur
- Arsenal 1-2 Wolves
- Leicester City 1-2 Fulham
- West Ham United 2-1 Aston Villa
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