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Thursday, July 30, 2009

In Depth Pre-Season Analysis: Manchester City

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Manchester City

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Fantasy Top Pick: Barry (8.0), Ireland (9.0), Robinho (9.5), Adebayor (10.0)
Fantasy Good Pick: Given (5.5)
Fantasy Gamble Pick: Tevez (8.5), Santa Cruz (9.0)

Note: The parentheses ( ) after a player name states his price.

The new juggernaut of the football arena had already risen. Under the ownership of Abu Dhabi Group, Manchester City now have enourmous amount of cash to get anyone they wanted. With the numbers of blockbuster signings this season, Mark Hughes will try his best to break the top four domination.

Goalkeepers and Defenders
Seriously, I bear no hope to their defense, due to the mere amount of money spent by City on this field. The biggest reason for that is the lack of powerful leader in this area. The highest salary ever left back, Bridge, is only regarded as a world class substitute for big clubs. This applies to newly signed Arsenal CB Toure too. Added with Richards who had lost his form long long time ago and a bunch of unrecognized names on the back line, their defense will most probably still very productive in giving negative points this season.

Their keeper, Shay Given, is the only exception. He's proven since his time at Newcastle, and with 144 points last season, quite a good bargain aren't him?

In terms of midfield, Stephen Ireland is exceptional last season. At a starting value of 5.5 last season, his price boosted crazily to 7 at the end of the season. And now, he will start the next season with a sky high 9.0 million pounds - something that repels you from him. While he's expected to perform greatly just like last season, he might have sudden cold of form at some periods, just like last season.

Besides him, another summer signing - Aston Villa ex-captain Gareth Barry, is also a hot pick of the game. His experience, his leadership, his accurate set pieces... all these will channel a lot of points to his pocket. And guess what? He's cheaper than Ireland! But can he combine well with his new teammates?

Gareth Barry

Given now that City has four world class forwards and some decent replacements as well, I predict that Hughes will play 4-3-3 for his team. In my opinion, Adebayor and Robinho will definitely be safe from benching their teammates due to their ultimate skills and talents. Adebayor is already long proven to be a great player that fits into EPL, while Robinho's 14 goals last season was quite tally with his title as EPL's record-breaking transfer. Tevez should be sitting for the last spot of the frontline, while Santa Cruz will wait his chance on the bench. Still, due to the high uncertainties of their forward combinations this season, you should wait and see for several games before deciding to pick anyone of them.

De Souza Robinho

08/09 Game Season Statistics
Top Pointers: Ireland (160), Barry (162)
Most Goals: Robinho (14)
Most Assists: Ireland (10)
Most Bonus: Robinho (18), Barry (35), Adebayor (21)
Most Clean Sheets (Defensive Line): Given (9)
Points per Value: Given (26.2)
Points per Game: Robinho, Adebayor (4.7)

Note: Players' name which are coloured green indicates the performance of new signings at their old clubs.

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