Manchester City won two pre-season friendlies over the weekend – beating Wolfsburg 2-0 and Limerick 4-0 and the Premier League champions (still feels a bit weird typing that) look like they are having no problems in their preparation for the new season in just under 2 weeks.
With Roberto Mancini revealing that Edin Dzeko is likely to stay at the club, and three other world class striking options up front in Tevez, Aguero, and Balotelli – the question many fantasy managers will be asking over the course of this month is surely: What will Manchester City’s First Choice Starting XI be for the 2012-2013 season?
While Mancini will utilise his entire squad (at left back last season he rotated between Clichy and Kolarov while at RB Zabaleta and Richards both saw action) and be prone to perhaps a bit more rotation than other Top 4 sides, there are still a few City players that we should consider ‘automatic’ selections as we prepare for the Fantasy Premier League season as managers:
- Sergio Aguero (11.5m) and Carlos Tevez (9m) – I know Tevez is happy now (will he be happy next week?) but surely if Mancini does rotate up front than he will rotate around Aguero. Tevez and Balotelli can play right behind Aguero in the 4-2-3-1 we saw the Blues showcase near the end of last season but Aguero should spear-head the attack. This summer, Aguero and Tevez have played together – and performed very well, so if they both start together, than Tevez is the obvious fantasy option coming in priced 2.5m cheaper than his fellow Argentine.
- Vincent Kompany (7.5m) and Joleon Lescott (6.5m): Automatic starters at the back, they should continue to establish a superb central defensive partnership, but they are pretty expensive for fantasy managers to consider especially with other options in the squad…
- Gael Clichy (6m): Speaking of those other defensive options, I think Gael Clichy is a fantasy value stud in the making this season provided he doesn’t suffer from rotation with Kolarov. At 6m he will be the cheapest starting defender – along with either Micah Richards or Pablo Zabaleta at right back. All three will be good options provided they lock down starting roles and don’t suffer from rotation / competition. They can all get forward and pick up assists and the clean sheets will obviously be there.
- David Silva (10m) and Yaya Toure (8m): Not really much we can say about these two other than the fact that they are the spine of the team, along with Kompany and Hart. Silva is of course more creative whilst Toure can also contribute goals and assists when played in an advanced position or even when making runs from a deep lying position. Other than Hart and Kompany, no one should see more starts than these two when they are fit.
So there you have it. A glimpse at Manchester City’s best assets for the upcoming [Fantasy] Premier League season. There are a few bargains to be had if they can land starting roles – specifically Carlos Tevez and Gael Clichy. But the question marks around the team’s first XI still exist, so we’ll take a wait and see approach over the next few weeks.
Good luck to all fantasy managers.