Man City players in Fantasy Premier League come with a Pep Guardiola caveat. Irrespective of form and name, anyone can be dropped in Guardiola’s Man City team. All Fantasy Premier League managers will have been victim of this at some point. Due to Man City players’ ridiculously high returns in FPL though, it is a problem managers are forced to put up with. We go through the minutes Man City players have played last season and so far this season in an attempt to shed any light on who are the more likely starters.
Man City Players Playing Time
Here are the minutes played from the Man City players, midfielders and forwards, from last season and so far this season. Riyad Mahrez’s minutes from last season are of course for Leicester.
— FPL Fantasy Football (@FantasyFPundit) September 25, 2018
Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus
First off we’ll start with the forwards, Man City’s record goal scorer Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus. Not long after Jesus joined Man City it seemed the two forwards were sharing the striker’s jersey between them. However, this season Aguero’s ruthlessness in front of goal and consistency appears to have given him the starting spot. Aguero has started all 6 Premier League matches this season and has scored four and provided four assists also. On the other hand Jesus has started just twice, scoring one goal. They have started together in one of those games. If Aguero continues with this form, which he has the majority of his Man City career, then the Argentinian could be one of the more reliable starters under Pep Guardiola.
Surprisingly Fernandinho didn’t play the most minutes in Man City’s midfield last season, that honor went to Kevin De Bruyne. This was due to an injury though. The Brazilian is an ever present in the Man City side whenever possible and there is no reason why that won’t continue this season. He has started every Premier League game this season. If you’re looking for a certain Man City starter, but are willing to accept less returns, then Fernandinho is your man at £5.4m.
Kevin De Bruyne
After De Bruyne’s injury a few weeks ago it’s unlikely he’ll replicate the minutes he played last season. The minutes he did play however shows how vital Guardiola believes he is to the Man City team. As Man City players go the stats suggest De Bruyne is less prone to rotation than his teammates. It is no wonder either, the World Cup semi-finalist scored 8 times last season and provided an incredible 18 assists!
Ilkay Gundogan is similarly priced to Fernandihno at £5.6m. He differs from the Brazilian in that he doesn’t start as often but does offer the potential for slightly more returns. Some FPL managers will argue it is a lot more but Fernandinho’s 5 goals and four assists from last do go under the radar somewhat. This season Gundogan has started four of Man City’s 6 Premier League matches. The latest match away to Cardiff saw him score and assist to add two more bonus points to the three he accrued against Wolves in Gameweek 3. Gundogan should be a prominent starter in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne.
After a relatively disappointing 2016/17 season, David Silva rewarded FPL managers who stuck with him last season by scoring 9 times and providing 11 assists. This gave him a fruitful return of 169 points. Silva is now 32 which will likely see his playing time gradually reduced. Nevertheless he started four Premier League matches this season and looks to be a part of Guardiola’s best 11. At £8.6m he is appropriately priced. His returns are expected to be slightly less than De Bruyne, Sterling and Sane and this is reflected in the difference in price.
This is where the rotation comes in. Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva are all vying for two roles within the Man City team. Bernardo Silva can play in the number 10 role but has primarily been used out wide. Sterling himself finished last season as the second highest FPL points scorer. This resulted in him being priced £11.0m this season. His incredible 18 goals and 17 assists from last season are unlikely to be repeated. Sterling’s increased price compared to his teammates is enough to deter FPL managers from investing which is evidenced by his current 3.3% pick percentage. He has however started 5 Premier League matches already. It’s unlikely he’ll continue starting more than 80% of Premier League matches under Guardiola and this makes purchasing him at £11.0m perhaps a little too risky.
After missing out on the World Cup with Germany, Leroy Sane was tipped to make a big start to the Fantasy Premier League season. The opposite happened; Sane didn’t start the first four matches. After a few comments from Guardiola questioning Sane’s attitude it seems this is a thing of the past because Sane has started the last two and has looked good in both of them.
Bernardo Silva played just over 1,500 minutes in the Premier League last season. After 6 Gameweeks this year he is already at close to a third of that. Having started 5 Premier League matches already this season, the same as Sterling, it looks like “Bilva” has gone up in Guardiola’s pecking order. He is noticeably cheaper than most of his Man City teammates at £7.5m which is reflected in his 8.1% pick percentage. He is coming off a goal, an assist and a subsequent three bonus points in Gameweek 6. Given his increased starting likelihood there is reason to pick him at £7.5m. However, do not expect him to provide the same returns as the likes of Aguero, Sterling and Sane.
Naturally Riyad Mahrez was one of the first players on the team sheet at Leicester. This resulted in him playing over 85% of available minutes. Understandably minutes have been harder to come by at Man City. He has started just two of the first 6. This would suggest he is currently behind the likes of Sterling, B Silva, and Sane. However, just to throw a spanner in the works, Mahrez came off the bench last week to score twice. This could see him start at home to Brighton if Guardiola wasn’t intending to do so already.
So Who Is Going To Start?
Unfortunately the answer is nobody can be sure. Guardiola has been, and will likely continue to be, prone to leaving out any player at any time. Sterling appears to be his number one choice wide man but does come with that premium price tag. Gundogan is another that may have an increased chance of starting in the absence of De Bruyne. Up front, Aguero looks like he’ll be starting when fit. This thought is strengthened by the fact he was excluded from Man City’s squad in the League Cup match. Consequently we think Aguero is the must have Man City player currently. Given Man City’s attacking talent it’s hard to argue against having two of their attacking players. Which player that is though is an interesting debate as they all bring their own pros and cons to whether they should be selected.
Fantasy Football Pundit Team
We currently have Aguero, B Silva and Mendy. As stated above Aguero is a must have. His returns are an unquestionable. The only negative to his selection is his likelihood to start which at the moment is as likely as ever. Elsewhere, as we have B Silva already we’ll be sticking with him but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’d transfer him in again. Finally, we’re sticking with Mendy until his injury status becomes clearer. It’s difficult to sell a player when they three excellent home fixtures in three of the next 5.