There is nothing normal about the Premier League at the moment, but Manchester City and Manchester United both missing out in the first week of fixtures threw another spanner in the works for many fantasy football managers.
Did you pick players from the two clubs anyway and just have them on the bench?
Or did you leave them out and now face a potentially costly challenge of trying to shoehorn them in?
Let’s have a look at the numbers and see whether it’s worth your time…
We need to talk about Kevin
There’s one player in particular who stands out in the game, as in real life.
The men’s Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year Kevin de Bruyne has just got to go in. The Belgian scored the most points of any player last season – a whopping 251 – and scored 13 goals along with his record-equalling 20 assists.
He created 45 (forty-five!) more chances than any other player in the divsion last season as well.
His price has gone up this year – inflation, eh? – to a hefty £11.5m, but can you afford not to have him?
Raheem Sterling is the same price and is also strangely listed as a midfielder again. The England man scored 20 times last season and again demands inclusion, but also some nifty budgeting.
Only Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah and Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will set you back more cash than City’s big two.
Bruno you want to
Manchester United’s key player – for half a season anyway – was obviously Bruno Fernandes.
The Portuguese inspiration averaged 8.4 points per game upon arrival in England and picked up eight goals and seven assists in just 14 appearances.
Keep that up through a full season and you’re talking 21 goals and 19 assists. Yes please.
If there is such a thing as a £10.5m bargain in this game he may well be it.
With United at home to Crystal Palace this week, will you be tempted to draft him straight in?
Paul Pogba seems keenly priced at £8.0m and if he can stay fit looks like a good buy. The Frenchman made just 16 appearances last season and yielded a poor return of one goal and three assists.
As you’d expect with such big-hitting clubs, bargains are rare to find. We were going to suggest that Dean Henderson may be a shrewd investment in goal as he could put real pressure on David de Gea for the number one shirt at Old Trafford, but he’s actually the same price in the game as the Spaniard at £5.5m.
United’s sole big signing this summer Donny van de Beek was always good for a goal at Ajax and is £7.0m, while in defence Brandon Williams made 17 appearances last season and is only £4.5m.
In the City ranks, Phil Foden could be expected to feature more this year now David Silva has moved on and is only £6.5m.
He scored five goals last season and made two assists from just nine starts.