On the back of their League Cup victory on Sunday, Manchester City dive straight into a Champions League fixture against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday evening.
After this, they will be in Premier League action against Crystal Palace before the reverse fixture of their two-legged clash with PSG.
This leaves FPL managers with a headache in terms of selecting Manchester City players in their squads.
With what on paper appears to be an easy Premier League fixture sandwiched by the two all-important Champions League matches, could we see Pep rotation at its very best (or worst) this week?
We asked the Scout Network for their views on Manchester City, whether we should look to invest in the champions-elect and which of their assets is surest of starts.
No City players for me at the moment, and in all honesty, I’m comfortable with this decision.
I feel like to tap into any potential haul, you need at least two City players to maximise the chance of getting at least one starter. With the Gameweeks running out, the Citizens still involved in multiple competitions and rotation perhaps likely to affect performances on the pitch, there are too many good options playing for other teams.
Ruben Dias (£6.1m) seems the most sensible hold for me if you have him, as he continues to play almost every game. However, Ilkay Gundogan (£5.8m) has only started three of the last seven matches and João Cancelo (£5.9) has only started four of the last seven. I’d probably be looking to jump ship after the Palace game.
Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) is having a relatively poor season by his own stratospheric FPL standards and I don’t feel he is justifying his price tag even without the threat of missing games. As always, he has huge potential if you feel he will see decent minutes. You may find that switch is also made easier due to the poor form of Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m).FPL Blackbox – Az
The likes of Phil Foden (£6.0m) and Ryiad Mahrez (£8.0m) are explosive players, but you would need to decide if you were happy with around a 50% chance of them seeing minutes in a game. It’s just not worth the risk, for me.
I am currently City-less after selling John Stones (£5.1m) in the previous Gameweek due to his suspension. To be honest, with the relative shortage of City clean sheets, I wasn’t convinced on switching like for like.
Given the mass rotation at the Etihad at the moment, it is hard to feel confident investing in many. With other players from teams offering assured game-time and value, there’s an argument to finish the season without any of Guardiola’s troops. I’m still a fan of Ilkay Gundogan (£5.8m) and he remains important to Pep’s game plan, so hopefully, that means less rotation with games depleting.FPL Nymfria
I’m currently without any City assets after saying goodbye to Joao Cancelo (£5.9m) for Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.6m) this week. With City just two wins away from winning the title, I feel their focus will be the Champions League games against PSG in the short term.
With the Crystal Palace match sandwiched between those fixtures, you have to think that the team will be heavily rotated in a game you would still expect them to win. John Stones’ (£5.1m) suspension could still see rotation in the centre-back positions with Nathan Ake (£5.4m) and Aymeric Laporte (£6.0m) tussling with Ruben Dias (£6.1m) for the two available positions.
Ederson (£6.1m) is the only safe option if you are wanting a City asset but their clean sheets have dried up recently, too, probably due to the rotation at the back. Anyone else must be picked with caution and with the expectation they could easily not play or could get 20 minutes from the bench.El Statto
As we enter the crunch time of the season, I expect Pep Guardiola to continue being a rotation nightmare for us FPL managers for the short term at least.
At the moment, I hold no Man City assets and I am not looking to add any before Gameweek 36. The Citizens do have a plum fixture in Gameweek 34 against Crystal Palace but I expect their ever-tinkering head coach to heavily rotate his squad to give his key players a breather after the League Cup final, in between the two rounds of the Champions League semi-final and before the clash with Chelsea in Gameweek 35.
Ruben Dias (£6.1m) is probably the only safe pick at the moment, especially with John Stones (£5.9m) suspended. For attacking players, I’d like to see how things progress with City in the Champions League first before I invest in them. I am quite sure they will return to our radars again before the season ends.Fantasy Chat – Kareem
Having just played my Wildcard, I have used the opportunity to get rid of all my Manchester City players as a result of Blank Gameweek 33 .FF Titan
For Gameweek 34, I will be looking get back at least one City asset as they play Palace. My top target is Riyad Mahrez (£8.0m). Firstly, the Algerian is one player who does not often come on as a substitute. This is crucial as he either starts or does not play at all; if the latter happens, your bench can step up. Secondly, his statistics are good when he starts: he has nine goals, six assists and five double-digit hauls.
City’s fixtures between now and the end of the season look incredibly appealing. If you can tap into the right players, it looks like you could score an abundance of points.
However, with the Champions League ties against PSG on the horizon and the Premier League title virtually secure, there will no doubt be plenty of rotation and guessing Pep’s team selection becomes even more difficult than usual. Spending top dollar on a player who might not play is a risk that doesn’t interest us.
There could be value in someone like Phil Foden (£6.0m), although with players like Jesse Lingard (£6.6m) and James Maddison (£7.3m) offering more certainty of starting at similar price points, it looks as though we’ll be braving it without any City options.FPL Experiment Podcast
City forwards are risky picks because of the aforementioned Pep Roulette and it’s worth noting that often, Man City’s starting XI doesn’t include any orthodox striker. Therefore, I think two players is enough; preferably a midfielder/defender combo.
One Man City player to keep a close eye on is Phil Foden (£6.0m), with only 7.3% of ownership. The youngster is having the best FPL season of his career (seven goals and eight assists) and has registered 118 points, despite having started only 14 matches.
Man City’s key player is, of course, Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m). Having fully recovered to start the Carabao Cup final, De Bruyne could be a great differential until the end of the season. The Belgian is always a reliable pick when fit and he’s a straight swap from highly-owned asset Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m). The differences in ownership between these two players (56.8% for Fernandes v 14.4% for De Bruyne) is massive, so this differential could help secure your mini-leagues over the next five Gameweeks.Bendito Fantasy – Leo
What’s happening in the Scout Network?
FF Titans – FF Titans have this week had a guest contributor from Suriname to pick their UCL Fantasy Matchday 11 squad ahead of the Champions League semi-finals.
El Statto – As we approach the end of the season, El Statto has already started planning for the 2021/22 season. He is looking for budding writers to join the team at Jumpers For Goalposts. No experience is necessary, just a keen passion for writing and FPL. If you are interested, please contact El Statto either via the site or via DM on Twitter.
FPL Nymfria – Nymfria released a Gameweek preview video detailing her considerations and transfers ahead of Gameweek 33, as well as shining the spotlight on the Trending Transfers and some of the player picks to consider. She also launched a new series called The Football Reaction Show, which covered the latest news in the football world including Jose Mourinho’s sacking.
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