FPL Roundup: The God of Manchester
FPL Roundup: The God of Manchester

"I won't be King of Manchester. I will be God of Manchester."

Although three matches is surely too small of a sample size to measure soccer holiness, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has at least backed up his latest self-fulfilling prophecy thus far.

Manchester United's free summer signing has already scored the winning goal of the Community Shield, found the back of the net in his Premier League debut and bagged a brace in his first Old Trafford appearance.

Along the way, Ibrahimovic's best traits have been highlighted, proving that his finishing, physicality and fight still outweigh his age, and make him a perfect fit in another Jose Mourinho-led team.

In Friday's 2-0 win over Southampton, he towered over opposing defender Jose Fonte to nod home United's opening goal, before sealing the deal by converting a second half penalty.

Whereas Wayne Rooney would've been trusted to take the spot shot in years past, Zlatan has already claimed his crown as the team's assigned scorer, which is nothing new for the Swede.

After 38 goals in his final Ligue 1 season, it remains to be seen how the comparatively longer, and certainly more competitive, English schedule will wear on the 34-year-old, but he's immediately established himself as a top fantasy striking option, which should come as no surprise to him.


While Ibrahimovic and his newest teammate Paul Pogba have deservedly claimed their fair share of headlines lately, the Pep Guardiola Era at Manchester City has certainly provided plenty of talking points as well.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss drew attention from his defensive player selections in Gameweek 1, but the signature attacking style of his teams has come to the forefront since.

The Citizens stomped Steaua Bucuresti 5-0 in a midweek Champions League performance led by striker Sergio Aguero and wide man Nolito, and that duo did the business for Man City once again at the weekend.

In beating Stoke City 4-1, Aguero got his team's first two goals, bringing his tally to six through City's first three competitive fixtures.

The Argentine's output isn't unexpected for someone with 50 Premier League goals over the past two seasons, but newcomer Nolito's second half brace at Stoke should especially attract fantasy owners.

Unlike underwhelming La Liga imports Pedro and Jesus Navas, Nolito has found comfort in England from being reunited with Guardiola, who coached him in both Barcelona's senior and B side during his time at the club from 2008 to 2011.

Although Guardiola ultimately allowed Nolito's development to continue elsewhere, it's no wonder why he's naturally fit the desired style at Man City. In 170 minutes for the Citizens, Nolito already boasts three goals and one assist.

That follows his 37 goals and 22 assists over his last three seasons in Spain, showing that even though Nolito was a late bloomer, he's seemingly already suited to impress under Guardiola in England.


Speaking of solid first impressions, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte's Italian flare for the dramatic has been another immediately evident item. The intense tactician led his country to particularly pulsating victories over Belgium and Spain this summer, focusing on strict organization and opportune offensive exploits. Although Chelsea's defense still needs tightening, striker Diego Costa has taken brilliantly to Conte's desired ruthlessness on the pitch.

After clinching Chelsea's last-gasp opening win against West Ham in the 89th minute, Costa found the back of the net with an 87th-minute winner Saturday at Watford. In doing so, he notched his 12th goal in 21 competitive appearances for Chelsea in 2016.

With a yellow card on both occasions this season as well, Costa appears to be the embodiment of Conte's requirements, something that could carter toward continued fantasy success.


Along with the individual offseason additions of Ibrahimovic, Nolito and Conte to England, the Premier League's three new teams flourished in Gameweek 2.

Burnley beat Liverpool 2-0 and Middlesbrough saw out Sunderland 2-1, but the most impressive promoted side so far has been Hull City.

The Tigers not only beat defending champions Leicester City on the opening day, but also won 2-0 at Swansea City on Saturday. After that result, only Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea can match Hull's 100 percent record to date. Sure, it's incredibly early in the season, but Hull's surprising start has to be commended – as do a few of their fantasy standouts.

Striker Abel Hernandez has supplied a goal and an assist already, yet Hull's best bargains may lie in defense. Thanks to injured teammate Allan McGregor, goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic has started between the sticks, recording seven saves and allowing just one goal. What's more, though, is that Jakupovic costs merely £4.0m in the Premier League's official fantasy game, making him as cheap as they come at his position.

That standing makes Jakupovic a perfect piece to fill out fantasy squads for as long as he starts, especially if center back Curtis Davies continues to be a colossus in front of him. Through the Tigers' first two games, Davies has averaged eight interceptions, nine clearances and 2.5 blocks per match. The veteran also assisted Hull's first goal at Swansea by winning an aerial duel off a corner kick. Overall, Davies' instrumental opening makes him someone to consider most closely in daily fantasy formats, even if his Gameweek 3 matchup against Manchester United and the aforementioned Ibrahimovic presents his tallest task yet.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Pitner
Nick Pitner writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire. He supports Arsenal FC, the Green Bay Packers, and the New York Knicks, while specializing in those respective sports in his coverage for the site.
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