We start our Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 7 write-ups with analysis of Liverpool v Manchester City.
LIVERPOOL 2-2 MANCHESTER CITY
- Goals: Sadio Mane (£11.9m), Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) | Phil Foden (£7.9m), Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m)
- Assists: Salah, Curtis Jones (£5.0m) | Gabriel Jesus (£8.6m)
- Bonus: Salah x3, Jones x2, De Bruyne x1
Having reached 70 FPL points quicker than in any previous season, the shouts to “perma-captain” Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) are getting louder. In some ways, it’s hard to argue against it, given his scores from the opening seven rounds:
17, 3, 10, 8, 12, 7, 13
In fact, Salah has either scored or assisted in eight of his nine games in all competitions for Liverpool this season.
It probably boils down to which type of Fantasy manager you are. For those who like to play the fixtures, Romelu Lukaku (£11.7m) faces Norwich City (h) in Gameweek 9 when Salah travels to Old Trafford, which is, of course, the better matchup on paper, but the consistency on offer from Salah during the opening weeks is unrivalled.
And with attacking returns against Chelsea and Man City so far, albeit a penalty against Thomas Tuchel’s side, he has proved that he can produce against even the sternest Premier League defences.
Due to Salah’s incredible start, team-mate Sadio Mane’s (£11.9m) performances have perhaps been going under the radar.
The Senegalese winger has now provided an attacking return in five of the last six Gameweeks, but hasn’t been as explosive as Salah, having failed to return a single double-digit haul so far.
Admittedly, he is tricky to fit into our FPL squads, but a midfield double-up isn’t completely out of the question for managers wanting to move away from the current one premium midfielder/one premium forward template.
Interestingly, Diogo Jota (£7.6m) led the line at Anfield, with Roberto Firmino (£8.8m) coming off the bench to replace him on 68 minutes.
The latter is not in action for Brazil during the international break which does suggest that he may get a start at Watford in Gameweek 8, but with Mane and Salah both away with their respective international teams, it’s hard to speculate too much on Jurgen Klopp’s XI at this stage.
“We caused them massive problems [in the second half], we were really in the game, we scored wonderful goals. The first goal is a great, great counter-attack, winning the ball, bam, bam, two passes, Sadio great position, top finish. The second goal, only the best players in the world score goals like this. The first touch, the first challenge he wins, then going there, putting it on the right foot and then finishing the situation off like he did, absolutely exceptional. Because this club never forgets anything, people will talk about this goal for a long, long time and in 50 or 60 years when they remember this game. It was a really good one.” – Jurgen Klopp
CITY ASSETS ON FPL RADAR
Ahead of an appealing run of fixtures – Burnley (h), Brighton and Hove Albion (a) and Crystal Palace (h) – Man City assets will of course be of interest heading into Gameweek 8.
However, nailing down an attacking starter isn’t straightforward.
Here’s a quick look at Pep’s line-ups so far this term:
And against Liverpool, Pep Guardiola lined his troops up as follows:
On Sunday’s evidence alone, Phil Foden (£7.9m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) look like the best midfield options. The former was electric at Anfield, as he scored and played a key role in the build-up to De Bruyne’s equaliser, ending the match with eight attempted crosses, two shots in the box and 0.60 expected goal involvement (xGI).
However, we’ve seen before how quickly the landscape can change at City. Only a few weeks ago, Ferran Torres (£6.9m) was of huge interest but has now failed to feature since Gameweek 4, while Riyad Mahrez (£8.7m) – a popular pre-season pick – hasn’t started a Premier League match since Gameweek 1.
Jack Grealish (£7.9m) and Bernardo Silva (£6.9m) look like two of the more ‘secure’ starters right now, but it’s also worth noting that Gabriel Jesus (£8.6m) has now started all of City’s last six Premier League fixtures, with his ability to feature out wide as well as through the middle a major plus for FPL managers.
“There are some performances where it’s not necessary to talk about just watch. The performance speaks for itself. It was magnificent – he’s a great player and an exceptional person.
Phil is a special player, we know it. Fortunately, he’s back now, he’s a fantastic player but not just him, Rodri, Gabriel everyone was fantastic today.” – Pep Guardiola discussing Bernardo Silva’s form and Phil Foden’s excellent display
Given their defensive numbers since the start of the season (see below), a double-up at the back certainly makes a lot of sense, and will surely be a popular choice for those on a Gameweek 8 Wildcard.
|Total||Rank v other Premier League teams|
|Shots in the box conceded||26||1st|
|Shots on target conceded||8||1st|
|Big chances conceded||5||1st|
Liverpool XI: Alisson, Milner (Gomez 78), Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Salah, Mane, Jota (Firmino 68)
Man City XI: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Jesus, Grealish (Sterling 66), Foden