Premier League Team Fantasy Preview: Manchester City

Posted by John Culea

Alex Livesey/Getty ImagesCan Edin Dzeko go from super-sub to effective goalscorer this season?

ESPN FC fantasy picks expert Sir John Culea continues his Premier League season preview with a look at the teams, examining Manchester City's chances of reclaiming their Premier League title. Go to the ESPN FC EPL fantasy page to join the game.

Last season: 23-9-6

Goals: 66 scored, 34 conceded

Position: Second

Last season, departed manager Roberto Mancini was the most difficult manager to predict on starting lineups. New manager Manuel Pellegrini should be more stable and has had a somewhat quiet time in the transfer market. He brought in Fernandinho, a 28-year-old Brazilian midfielder with a 7.0 fantasy value from powerhouse Shakhtar Donetsk. But he is not a big goal-scoring threat, so it's hard to say what more he will give than Yaya Toure (8.1 value).

Jesus Navas is another newcomer with even less offensive prospects. The 27-year-old Spanish midfielder (with a fantasy value of 7.4) played in 37 games and had zero goals for Sevilla.

Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo (8.0) was also brought in and has an impressive goal-scoring resume. He was fourth behind Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Radamel Falcao with 25 goals in 36 matches.

Also new and on the forward line is Stevan Jovetic (7.2) from Fiorentina. He scored 35 goals in five seasons.

Pellegrini seems to have adequate replacements for the departed Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli, especially with Sergio Aguero (8.2) and Edin Dzeko (7.1) ready for action. Pellegrini says he will build the Manchester City attack around Dzeko who started only 16 PL games last season, yet had 14 goals.

City has the top fantasy goalkeeper in Joe Hart. He led the PL in clean sheets with 16. Quality comes with a price: 7.5.

The defensive wall of City is solid with Pablo Zabaleta (7.0), Gael Clichy (overpriced at 7.0), and Vincent Kompany (also overpriced at 7.4). An injury woe for City is the damaged ankle of Matija Nastasic (7.1) who had a solid rookie season. Joleon Lescott (6.0), Aleksandar Kolarov (5.7), and Micah Richards (5.9) round out the defenders and are marginal fantasy players.

David Silva (7.3) has either been in a two-season slump or he is just not as good as he showed in the first half of his debut PL season. The midfielder was 21st in his position in fantasy points. Even worse is Gareth Barry (6.2) who was 48th. Scott Sinclair (5.5) and Jack Rodwell (5.8) are not worth considering. And then there is Samir Nasri (6.9), the volatile Frenchman who frustrates his fantasy managers with unfulfilled potential more than Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere put together.

Next: Chelsea

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