Man City create FPL headache as Citizens do what Man Utd couldn’t | Football | Sport

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Manchester City have given Fantasy Premier League managers more to worry about going into the next round of Premier League games this weekend. Treble-winners City started their Champions League knockout stage campaign with a comfortable 3-1 win away at FC Copenhagen on Tuesday night.

It looked as though City would be going back to England with a one-goal lead for the return contest at the Etihad next month. But Phil Foden‘s stoppage-time finish, added to excellent first-half goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, means they have a 3-1 advantage for the second leg that should see the European Cup holders into the quarter-finals.

But FPL managers, ahead of a double game-week, will be concerned. That is because Erling Haaland, De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Kyle Walker were among those to all play the full 90 minutes in Denmark. City have another two matches to come in the next seven days, both in the league.

They host Chelsea on Saturday night (5.30pm) before welcoming Brentford to Manchester next Tuesday (7.30pm). And Haaland, Foden and De Bruyne are among the most-owned players going into the DGW25.

The Norwegian striker is expected to be triple-captained by a lot of managers. But him playing the full match in Copenhagen will spark concerns that he won’t play the full 180 minutes against Chelsea and Brentford.

Particularly because Julian Alvarez, who can play as a striker, was an unused substitute at Parken Stadium. Jeremy Doku and Matheus Nunes were the only players to come off the bench. Doku replaced the injured Jack Grealsh in the first half while Nunes came on for goalscorer Bernardo, who also sustained a knock, in the second half.

De Bruyne’s 90 was only his second full match since returning from a long-term injury. The Belgian has supplied two goals and six assists in seven matches since coming back despite only three of those being starts.

The fact he lasted the full game means he is less likely to start both league matches, although he only came off the bench in last weekend’s win over Everton. City are treating their talismanic playmaker with caution after his return given how key he could be in the title race.

Foden meanwhile is in near-undroppable form and helped himself to another goal and another assist against the Danes. He has not failed to start a match for City since a 6-1 win over Bournemouth on November 4. The England international has started 15 successive games since.

Grealish’s injury perhaps means Foden should start against Chelsea and Brentford, though Alvarez – who was rested in Europe – can also operate in his role. The Argentine will hope to get a start against the Bees.

FPL managers would’ve surely preferred to see the likes of Haaland and Foden come off well before time was up to strengthen their chances of back-to-back starts in the league given Guardiola likes to rotate. On the bright side, managers who own the likes of Foden and De Bruyne in particular will be confident of returns given their excellent form.

City winning at Parken meant they did something neighbours Manchester United couldn’t. Erik ten Hag’s team lost 4-3 to the Danish Superliga side in November, conceding an 87th minute goal to lose after going down to 10 men. United eventually crashed out in the Champions League group stages.

Guardiola’s charges will welcome Copenhagen to the Etihad on March 6, just days before facing title rivals Liverpool at Anfield in a crucial match. Before the second leg they take on Chelsea, Brentford, Bournemouth and Man United in the league as well as Luton in the FA Cup fifth round.

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