This Manchester City FPL team guide should, in theory, be a breeze. Guardiola’s outfit is a well-known entity, his style of football worthy of defining a whole genre of attacking play. And yet, despite 2 consecutive titles and every sign pointing towards a 3rd, FPL managers aren’t clamouring to triple up on their assets.
The main reason for this, of course, is rotation. Guardiola’s notorious managerial acumen is matched only by the notoriety of his penchant for chopping and changing his starting XI. In Man City’s case, guaranteed minutes guarantee value. The sooner we can identify the mainstays, the sooner we can exploit the huge FPL points potential in this title-winning side.
What style of football do Manchester City play?
The reigning, defending, back-to-back Premier League Champions are simply the platinum standard of English Football right. They’ve mustered 198 points in two seasons.
Pep Guardiola’s men have taken the league with a stranglehold, suffocating teams with their intricate positional and possession play. 4-3-3 has been a mainstay, but the flexibility of their model sees players occupying different spaces on the pitch in relation to the opposition shape and the positioning of teammates.
Bernardo Silva has undeniably added the extra spark to City, providing more creativity and a serious engine. Alongside him will see a returning Kevin de Bryune, who was sidelined throughout most of last season with an injury. He’ll be hoping to recover the form that saw him take the 17-18 season by storm with his passing range and shooting qualities.
New signing Rodri will be an interesting watch, with Pep keen to find a player capable of filling Fernandinho’s deep boots. The Spanish midfielder will have his hands full. Firstly, he’ll be expected to contribute to City’s attacking efforts with his game intelligence and passing repertoire. Secondly, he’ll be depended upon to break down swift counters – often the only hope an opponent has of getting anything from the game.
Possessing 2 proven goal outlets in Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero has made attacking that bit easier for Man City. Both are capable of finishing a range of different chances with instinctive ease. Their positional prowess fits perfectly into Pep’s mould; one that looks to exploit cut-backs into the box.
In defence, the void of former captain Vincent Kompany will be felt. His aerial prowess and leadership qualities have been a vocal point in City’s long-term success. Aymeric Laporte has proven himself to be one of the best defenders in the league and has the quality to step up into a Kompany-like role for years to come.
Where City look a bit more vulnerable is in the fullback positions. Kyle Walker had a poor campaign for his standards last season, while on the opposite flank, Benjamin Mendy has not been able to overcome his injury woes. Set pieces are probably City’s biggest vulnerability; one that will surely be in the crosshairs of every team they face this season.
Last season’s key statistics
The Pep Guardiola effect has seen Man City concede fewer goals and secure more shutouts every single season. 39 goals conceded and 12 clean sheets in his debut season, 27 goals conceded and 18 clean sheets in his second season and, last season, a total of 23 goals conceded and 20 clean sheets.
They also dominated the attacking third in terms of underlying statistics. Man City comfortably ranked first for attempts inside the box (445), shots on target (255), big chances (125) and minutes per chance (5.3). They also had 71 xG from open play, compared to Liverpool’s 54.
FPL fixture difficulty
The table above shows the fixture difficulty of Man City’s opening six matches, as determined by our clean sheet tracker and attacking tracker. These difficulty trackers are based on last seasons home/away specific performance statistics. Newly promoted sides statistics have been weighted according to their transitional value.
Who takes penalties for Manchester City?
Accordingly to our data, Sergio Aguero is designated penalty taker for Manchester City.
Which Manchester City players to pick on FPL?
Despite falling just 7 FPL points short of Alisson last season, there’s still a 15% discrepancy between the Brazilian keepers at the time of writing. At just 18% ownership, Ederson (£6.0m) is a guaranteed Man City starter at a relatively low price. Indeed, the £6.0m goalkeepers scored more points last season than any of the other £6.0m players available this season.
Defensively, Aymeric Laporte (£6.5m) is the standout pick, largely because – unlike his colleagues – he’s more or less assured minutes. But even Guardiola has to field at least 3 defenders, which means there’s an opportunity for FPL managers if the other slots can be filled by someone dependable. Keep your eye on Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.5m). He’s been rightfully reclassified as a defender this season, which should see his modest 18/19 points tally rise exponentially if he can get more game time.
City’s midfield is dominated by 3 popular FPL picks: Kevin De Bruyne (£9.5m), Raheem Sterling (£12.0m) and Bernardo Silva (£8.0m). With all of them expected to play plenty of minutes in the 2019/20 season, the question becomes one of budget-balancing. Very few managers are able to own 2 of these, which means doubling up could prove to be a shrewd move for the FPL managers who can afford it.
Sergio Aguero (£12.0m) is currently one of the most popular premium forwards. His 22% ownership illustrates the lack of popularity for pricey forwards ahead of the 2019/20 season, with FPL managers preferring to invest in midfield and defence. Some deem Aguero’s increased price-tag too steep for a player whose minutes were closely managed last season.
If the diminutive Argentinian is to see reduced game time this season, City’s new number 9 Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m) stands to benefit. He filled in for Aguero with seamless ease when called upon last season, scoring 7 goals and racking up an xG of 12.62 in just 993 minutes. With Aguero now 31-years-old, the door could soon be open for this young talent to establish himself as a regular under Guardiola.