Manchester City’s recent performances have marked them out as a potential FPL must-have over the Christmas period.
The Premier League champions are in the mix for the title again this year with Chelsea and Liverpool, but so far have enjoyed limited popularity in the fantasy realm.
However, the data behind their latest league win against Watford hints at a team that could provide everything an FPL boss needs.
Threat is a metric introduced by the FPL to measure the quality of the chances a player enjoys in front of goal, with a score of around 100 usually accounting for a goal’s worth of chances.
By looking at how much Threat a team scored and allowed during a game, one can better understand whether their result aligned with the strength of their performance.
City’s 3-1 win over Watford in gameweek 15 was a good result and they achieved the second highest Threat total of the season with 439 too, well worth their three goals.
The performance means Pep Guardiola’s side have scored more than 200 Threat in each of their last eight league games, a run which even Liverpool have been unable to match this term.
As a result, the Citizens have won five league games in a row and top the table by a point from the Reds and two points from Chelsea.
Furthermore, their festive fixture schedule does not look unfavourable for a team on such a fine run of form, with Wolves, Leeds, Newcastle, Leicester and Brentford to come in 2021.
So which City stars should you back over Christmas? Joao Cancelo in defence has been the leading FPL points scorer for the champions for much of this season, but a midfielder has knocked him off top spot.
Bernardo Silva has scored five goals in his last five games and looks ready to take over from his former colleague and namesake David Silva as City’s midfield mastermind.
Silva is cheap at £7.6m and looks ready to make a mockery of his price tag – the Portuguese has already equalled his best goals tally in the PL and may well have improved upon it before the season reaches the halfway stage.
Around a quarter of FPL bosses currently own the midfielder, who has registered double-figure points returns in his last two games.
Two of Silva’s midfield team-mates might also be worth consideration, although neither compare with the promise of Bernardo at present
Raheem Sterling scored 55 goals and registered 38 FPL assists between the 2017-18 season and the 2019-20 season, but has been unable to hit those heights so far this term.
Regardless, four Premier League starts in a row and two goals in his last four games – along with an assist – hint at a player who can still make an impact.
At £10.6m though, managers will want to see a return on investment almost immediately.
Meanwhile, the man who arguably won City the title last season comes in much cheaper at £7.3m and is owned by just 3.9 per cent of managers currently.
Ilkay Gundogan has not featured regularly for Guardiola’s team in the league this term, but a goal and an assist in the last three gameweeks demonstrated he is still capable of being a key attacker for his team when called upon.
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