Manchester City have had an encouraging start to their 2021/22 campaign, despite a tough run of fixtures which has seen them visit Liverpool, Chelsea, Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
During their opening seven Premier League matches, they have netted 14 goals, and given their forthcoming schedule (see below), it’s easy to see why many Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers are scouting their assets ahead of Gameweek 8.
With Etihad encounters against Burnley and Crystal Palace in the next three, plus a trip to high-flying Brighton and Hove Albion – a side who they have traditionally done well against under Pep Guardiola – the upside is clearly huge.
However, nailing down a regular starting attacker isn’t straightforward. Looking at City’s two most recent Premier League matches against Liverpool and Chelsea, their ‘strongest’ XI probably looks something like this:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; Rodri, Bernardo, De Bruyne; Jesus, Grealish, Foden
That will of course change as the season progresses, and we have seen before just how quickly the landscape can change. Only a few weeks ago, Ferran Torres (£6.9m) was of huge Fantasy interest but has now failed to feature since Gameweek 4, while Riyad Mahrez (£8.7m) – a popular pre-season pick – hasn’t started a single Premier League match since the opening day.
Manchester City’s 2021/22 Premier League line-ups and minutes
It’s also worth noting that for their forthcoming run of fixtures, Guardiola will probably look to use his full squad, and perhaps be less reliant on that ‘strongest’ XI.
The rotation is further complicated by two important UEFA Champions League clashes against Club Brugge, which have taken on extra significance following defeat at Paris Saint-Germain in Matchday 2. The first fixture, which takes place in Belgium, arrives just three days after Burnley, while the return match is four days after Crystal Palace’s visit in Gameweek 10.
There is also an EFL Cup trip to West Ham United to navigate after that latter match, but given that fringe players will surely be given a run-out here, if anything, it’s probably a positive for FPL managers.
Regardless of that, the schedule does suggest some rotation, which is why we have some big decisions to make ahead of Gameweek 8. So, before we give a player-by-player assessment of the main contenders, it goes without saying that if you do choose to invest, additional squad depth is definitely advisable.