Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City side are now strongly fancied to reach their first ever Champions League semi-final after securing two precious away goals in Paris. The 1st leg against the French champions was riddled with defensive mistakes, setting up an intriguing return at the Etihaad next week. The Chilean will leave the Citizens at the end of the season, with Pep Guardiola already confirmed as his successor, so he is sure to prioritize success in this season’s Champions League over the race for the fourth qualification spot for the 2016/17 equivalent.
However, despite all this, the bookmakers haven’t hesitated in installing Manchester City as the strongest Premier League favourites in Gameweek 33, pencilling them in with a projected win percentage of 72%, as well as the highest goal expectancy and biggest supremacy.
How fantasy football managers tackle this conundrum will boil down to the type of contest they are entering. If you are playing in a format where you need to submit your line-ups in advance and your selections subsequently lock, you will need to second-guess what the Chilean will do. With Vincent Kompany, Raheem Sterling and Yaya Touré all likely to be missing through injury, it means that Pellegrini and fantasy managers, in particular, have any combination of three trump cards to play in the form of David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Agüero, who recorded an impressive WhoScored rating of 8.8 in the 4-0 win at Bournemouth.
But the City boss, who is nicknamed ‘The Engineer’, could easily start any of them on the bench so the likes of Samir Nasri, Fabian Delph, Jesús Navas and Wilfried Bony could easily come into the reckoning.
Fantasy managers who are playing in contests where ‘late-swap‘ is permitted will have the luxury of being able to select a couple of City players as their utility picks, if they manage their budget effectively. This will give them the option of not only switching players in and out, but also being able to change formation as well if necessary.
Elsewhere, it promises to be another decisive weekend in the Premier League title race. Arsenal are up first and travel to the Boleyn Ground on Saturday, while the top two are in action on Sunday. League-leaders Leicester City will have the chance to open up a 10 point gap when they visit relegation-haunted Sunderland, while Tottenham Hotspur will just have to watch and wait, before tackling Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United.