The Premier League returned last night at Old Trafford in the shape of Manchester United v Leicester. Paul Pogba was surprisingly named in the starting 11, with many planning on his return later in the schedule after his World Cup exploits.
Alexis Sanchez owners were slightly disappointed to see him operating on the left of the front three, as Marcus Rashford started as the main striker. New signing Fred started alongside Pogba, while owning Luke Shaw (£5.0m) paid off as he was rewarded a start at LB.
For Leicester, new signing James Maddison (£6.5m) started the match in the number 10 position, while Demarai Gray stepped into Mahrez’s shoes on the wing. Harry Maguire returned to the team while Jamie Vardy started on the bench, after earlier in the day signing a new 4 year contract.
Fans didn’t have to wait long for some action, when a goal bound shot by Sanchez was hand balled on the 79th second of the match. To the horror of many FPL managers, it was Pogba not Sanchez that stepped up to convert from the spot, to leave Sanchez owners with an early assist at least.
Leicester grew into the game after the goal and in the 29th minute, Maddison saw his strong volley from 10 yards out saved brilliantly by David De Gea. United’s second goal came from an unlikely source in Shaw, his first ever senior goal, to double their advantage with 7 minutes remaining.
The game was looking to end at 2-0 but Leicester’s main marksman Jamie Vardy (£9.0m) popped up in the box in added time to head home a rebound off the post. United held on for a 2-1 win but Mourinho would not of been happy with his sides inability to control the match, only having 46% possession.
Manchester United FPL Assets
We fortunately owned Luke Shaw in our fantasy team and the decision to choose him over Bailey proved inspired with his goal. His overall performance was very solid too, providing overlaps when needed on the left flank. Mourinho heaped praise on Shaw’s performance which could hint at a run in the team:
“He just has to keep going, the mentality was very good, the tactical discipline was very good too and he had the power to move forward and score an important goal for us.”
Ashley Young’s return will be the test for FPL managers and whether Shaw keeps his place. But after his performance last night, we suggest holding onto Shaw for the foreseeable fixtures. Man Utd still have a right back problem with injuries, so Young may see himself played in that position.
Alexis Sanchez also featured in our team and rewarded us with a fortunate assist for the penalty. Although lively, Sanchez’s quality on the ball was a concern, losing the ball more than any other player on the pitch. He seemed like he was forcing the final ball too often, however was unfortunate not to get an assist when Romelu Lukaku missed a one-on-one. Lukaku’s return will be one for managers to keep tabs on, his goal scoring in opening fixtures last season scored handsomely.
Paul Pogba (£8.0m) showed FPL what they were missing with a dominant performance in midfield. At his price range, their aren’t many who have the assist and goal potential like him. One to keep an eye on.
Leicester FPL Assets
From the Leicester team, James Maddison (£6.5m) was the stand out performer in the number 10 role. Having 2 shots, one that was saved brilliantly by De Gea, and 6 crosses he showed that he is a threat around the goal. Maddison will be competing for a position behind Vardy, and if he cements that position, he could be a viable FPL asset.
Demarai Gray (£5.5m) was very sharp and gave Darmian a first half to forget. Gray looked quick and direct, providing 5 crosses and 3 shots. He will fill the boots of Mahrez, providing the pace when Leicester look to hit teams on the counter attack. The only question will be his quality in the final third, and whether he can deliver on a regular basis.
Lastly, Jamie Vardy returned and done what he does best, scoring a late goal to wipe out all FPL managers hopes of a clean sheet. Vardy is proven in FPL after 183 points last season, and without competition in his position, he is a hard player to look past.