Who To Replace Kevin De Bruyne With On Fantasy Premier League
As Kevin de Bruyne began to settle into Pep Guardiola’s new system he quickly began to look like one of the most dominant players in the league. Week in and week out he’d find a way to get involved in the scoring, which helped him climb to the top of the FPL scoring chart with 49 points.
Although it seemed as if nothing could possibly go wrong for the high-flying Belgian, he was eventually forced off the pitch with a muscular injury in the 81st minute in Man City’s match against Swansea.
The fear of over 800,000 fantasy managers was later confirmed once reports showed that the injury will keep de Bruyne sidelined for up to four weeks. 54,000 managers have already made way with the Man City man, but nearly 20 percent of FPL managers still have the Belgian in their squad.
For those still contemplating who to bring in, @insiderFPL gives us his top five replacements for Kevin de Bruyne.
PPG (Last 4): 10.3
Fixtures: Burnley (A), Swansea (H), Middlesbrough (H), Sunderland (A)
For those with the available funds, Alexis Sanchez has to be one of the top considerations to replace de Bruyne. The Chilean is in blistering form at the moment and has helped kick Arsenal into top gear after a slow start to the season.
With the Gunners’ shortage of available forwards at the beginning of the season, Sanchez has been being deployed as Arsenal’s main striker. He looked slightly uncomfortable in the new position at first, but he began to grow into the role as time went on.
Sanchez was able to get off the mark with a goal and two assists in week three against Watford and hasn’t looked back since. The star man has added three goals and an assist in the weeks following, which has moved him up to the second highest fantasy scorer in the league.
Although Giroud is ready for a return it is unlikely that Arsene Wenger will want to shakeup his squad that seems to have found a winning formula. This will bode well for Alexis considering Arsenal’s easy fixtures should allow the forward to keep knocking in goals at will.
PPG (Last 4): 8.8
Fixtures: Spurs (A), Everton (H), Southampton (H), West Brom (A)
Even with de Bruyne out of the starting eleven, Pep Guardiola should not have much of an issue when it comes to keeping Man City’s attack firing. The Spaniard has a wealth of attacking options to rely on, one being the revitalized Raheem Sterling.
The Man City winger is quickly putting his miserable 2015/16 campaign behind him and is now blossoming under his new manager. The biggest difference for the Englishman is that he is now consistently adding an end product to his darting forward runs.
Sterling has managed to collect four goals and three assists in the opening six games, which nearly matches his entire output of six goals and three assists from last season.
The only reason to be cautious of Sterling is that Man City’s upcoming fixtures won’t exactly be a walk in the park. Tottenham lead the league with three clean sheets thus far, and Everton, Southampton and West Brom have all managed to keep two.
Even though all those teams all boast a sturdy backline, it will be a monumental challenge for any of them to keep a clean sheet against the Manchester giants. City has both the personnel and the tactics to break down any opposition they face, and Sterling will be one of the players expected to elevate their performance in the absence of de Bruyne.
Expect the winger to keep up his scoring ways.
PPG: 5.5 (Last 4)
Fixtures: Burnley (A), Swansea (H), Middlesbrough (H), Sunderland (A)
Coming off the back of a 19 assist season, Mesut Ozil’s return to the starting eleven and Arsenal’s rapid rise up the table has been no coincidence.
The midfield maestro pulls the strings for Arsenal and is absolutely instrumental in the Gunners’ build up play. Ozil hasn’t registered any assists since returning, but he has scored two lovely goals in his four appearances.
Ozil collected his first goal of the season against Watford by making a perfectly timed run into the box and heading in an Alexis Sanchez cross. His second was a beauty of a left-footed volley that was the final goal in a 3-0 victory over Chelsea.
Two goals in four matches may not exactly translate to loads of fantasy points, but it shows us that the German’s game has grown a lot, considering he has only averaged five goals per season since joining Arsenal.
Ozil’s newly found goal scoring ability should create plenty of excitement around the player even though he may not have any assists yet. The assists will come, as his 2.4 key passes per game indicate that it’s only a matter of time.
Easy fixtures, goal scoring form and precision passing make Ozil an exciting FPL aspect going forward.
PPG (Last 4): 6.8
Fixtures: Swansea (A), Man United (H), West Brom (H), Crystal Palace (A)
Liverpool’s attack is absolutely flying at the moment and at the heart of it has been a resurgent Adam Lallana.
Since arriving at Liverpool after the 2013/14 season, Lallana has had to fight for any consistent playing time at Anfield. The attacking midfielder has always been decent for the Reds, but it hasn’t always lead to many goals or assists.
This season appears to be different, however, as Lallana has started to show he can be a clinical finisher as well as a provider for his teammates. In six matches, with fixtures including Arsenal, Tottenham, Leicester and Chelsea, the Englishman has been directly involved in the most goals on his team with three goals and three assists.
Part of the midfielder’s success has come since Klopp has opted to used Roberto Firmino as a center forward and Lallana in the 10 role. The ex-Southampton man is clearly best in a central attacking position, and based off how well Liverpool’s attack has been playing with this formation, it doesn’t appear as if the shape of the midfield will change anytime soon.
With drastically easier fixtures approaching, Lallana should be able to add to his already impressive goal and assist tally. He’s an absolute steal at just £7.2 million.
PPG (Last 3): 6.7
Fixtures: Middlesbrough (H), Crystal Palace (A), Sunderland (H), Everton (A)
Even at West Ham’s very worst, Dimitri Payet’s quality still manages to shine through.
While it’s clear that Slaven Bilic has his work cut out for him if he is to turn around the Hammers’ form, the manager will at least be comforted by the fact that he can rely the sensational Frenchman.
In just three full appearances, Payet has shown his class by serving up four assists for his team. Whether it’s from a set piece or a jaw-dropping rabona cross, the midfielder provides pin-point accurate service nearly every time he passes the ball.
Other than Antonio it’s not exactly clear who will be putting away the chances that Payet creates, but Carroll’s eminent return may relieve some of the goal scoring burden. We also know that the French midfielder is equally adept at burying goals completely by himself, and that might be exactly what he tries to do if his team’s struggles persist.
Payet is going to have to be at his sparkling best to help turn West Ham’s season around, but with easy fixtures on the horizon he may just be able to right the ship.