Manchester City’s winning performance against Liverpool in the Community Shield certainly gave FPL managers plenty to think about.
With silverware at stake, this was undoubtedly a competitive fixture against the two key title contenders in the Premier League this coming season.
1. Joe Gomez (5.5)
The big hype in the community from the early Liverpool team news, was that Joe Gomez was selected as the preferred option to partner Van Dijk in the heart of defence. There were some jitters early on, with Raheem Sterling poaching the ball off him in the final third to launch another attacking on Liverpool’s goal. He settled into the game well though and put in a great performance for the reds.
2. Raheem Sterling (12.0)
Sterling started the game out of position as the central striker for the Champions, and got on the score sheet early on, tapping in Silva’s flick from close range. He’s continuing to go from strength to strength and had a number of good chances to score again within the game, fluffing a one-on-one to close the game out in the second half. He looks set for another great FPL sesason.
3. Oleksandr Zinchenko (5.5)
Zinchenko remains an enticing route into the Manchester City defence, at a reasonable £5.5 million, but this does come with some risk. City are still unbeaten with this man in their starting XI, but he did have his work cut out today against a lively Mo Salah. He looks like a safe bet to at least start the season, but it remains to be seen if he can hold down this slot when Ben Mendy is fully fit.
4. Claudio Bravo (5.0)
It shouldn’t have been a surprise to see the Chilean line up between the sticks: he looks set to be City’s domestic cup goalkeeper for the majority of this season. It was a dazzling display on his return from a long injury lay off, he made some great saves to deny Mo Salah in particular and was the hero in the penalty shoot out. However, it’s Ederson who’s still expected to start the Premier League season.
5. Virgil Van Dijk (6.5)
Van Dijk continues to shine for Liverpool and had another excellent game. Fantasy managers will be encouraged to see that he played a crucial role in the equaliser: crossing the ball across the box during a set piece for Matip to tap home. He was very close to scoring himself, hitting the underside of the crossbar from a corner. He could keep up with the full-backs for attacking returns this season.
6. Mohammed Salah (12.5)
Mo Salah managed an impressive 10 shots during the game, with four on target. He hit the woodwork and had an effort cleared off the line – not a bad output against City’s imperious defence. Fantasy managers will be relieved to see that Salah converted another crucial penalty in the shootout: with Milner injured he should be on spot-kick duty and he looks hungry for more goals this season.
7. Kevin De Bruyne (9.5)
It was great to see De Bruyne back on form for the blues. He had a hand in Manchester City’s opening goal, but being able to cover Raheem Sterling for attacking output seems unlikely. He appears to be getting back to his best, creating plenty and taking up encouraging positions. Fitness is still a slight concern though, he couldn’t quite manage the full 90 minutes with cramp hitting late on.
8. Trent Alexander-Arnold (7.0)
Alexander-Arnold had a tough afternoon, up against the likes of Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling. He was on corners for Liverpool again today but struggled at times to find his range. His lacklustre performance earned him a 67th minute substitution, with Matip coming on at centre-back and Joe Gomez covering on the right. It puts rotation as a concern for FPL managers once more.
9. Gabriel Jesus (9.5)
It was interesting to see Gabriel Jesus favoured over Sergio Aguero as City’s substitute when Leroy Sane went off injured early in the game. He’s taken control of the number nine shirt and put in a good performance, being the first player to dribble past Virgil Van Dijk in nearly 20 months and hammering home the winning penalty. He looks set for a greater role this season.
10. Kyle Walker (6.0)
Kyle Walker had an excellent game, handling pressure from Liverpool’s attackers with ease. He cleared a fantastic late effort from Salah off the line with remarkable composure, and set up a great attacking effort that Sterling should have converted. With question marks hovering over a number of City defenders, he could be the safest route into this Manchester City defence.
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