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FPL Gameweek 20: Man. City Deep Dive

Fantasy Football Fix 28 Dec. 2023

After their blank in Gameweek 18 due to the Club World Cup, Man. City are back on the FPL radar and in this blog, their assets in defence and attack are scrutinised to determine the best picks.


The Fixtures

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As the above image from our Fixture Planner shows, Man. City are on top for 'Attack Difficulty' over the next six Gameweeks. The reigning Champions play Sheff. Utd., Burnley, Everton and Chelsea at the Etihad and travel to Newcastle and Brentford over that period. The home games in particular look enticing and the reigning Champions will be looking to these games to make up ground in the title race.

The Stats

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As the above image from our Stats Sandbox feature shows, over the last eight Gameweeks B. Silva is top amongst Man. City players for xFPL (32.78), narrowly ahead of Haaland (32.29). The Portuguese international is also top for FPL points (36), he has notched two goals and as many assists over that period. However, his 'Expected Goals' (xG) tally of just 0.45 in 630 minutes is ninth and he is unlikely to be a popular FPL pick. Haaland has featured in only four games over the aforementioned period, and these were difficult opponents - Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs and Villa. He is second to Foden for shots (16 vs 19), shots on target (SoT) (seven vs 10) but way ahead of anyone else for both 'big chances' (BC) (nine) and 'xG' (4.54) despite the limited minutes.

J. Alvarez has been a popular replacement for Haaland but his goal threat numbers are underwhelming, despite consistent minutes. The Argentinian international has scored just one goal, is third for shots in the box (SiB) (10) and second for BC (four). The creativity numbers are encouraging, he is top for attempted assists (18) but trails B. Silva for BC created (three vs five).

Foden looks worthy of consideration, apart from their two forwards. He has started each of Man. City's last seven league matches and is top for shots (19) and SoT (10) while he is also third for attempted assists (nine). Grealish has found the back of the net three times but he has done so from only six shots.

In defence, rotation is a concern with even the formerly everpresent Rúben not featuring against Everton in Gameweek 19. Walker remains the only Man. City defender to start every league game for the reigning Champions this season but his attacking numbers are very poor with just four attempted assists and 0.40 'Expected Assists' (xA) over 630 minutes.

What do the Projections Say?

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With their incredible fixture run and proven pedigree, Man. City assets feature in six of the top 16 projected players for the next six Gameweeks by the Fix Algorithm. Doubts remain about Haaland (43.7) and De Bruyne's (28.9) availability for Gameweek 20, but Foden (26.6) and J. Alvarez (25.4) look great picks. Rúben (23.7) is their only defensive asset to make the top 10 projected defenders with Walker (21.7) narrowly outside in 11th. This would indicate that FPL managers should swerve their defensive assets and focus on their attacking picks.

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