The Premier League kicked off yesterday as Manchester City faced off against newly promoted, Burnley in the first fixture of the opening Matchday of the season.
City breezed past Vincent Kompany’s side as they defeated them comfortably with a scoreline of 3-0. Erling Haaland picked up where he left off scoring twice. Rodri assisted and even managed to score a goal as Guardiola’s men kept a clean sheet in their opening fixture.
It was a horrible feeling for many FPL managers as defender, John Stones was left out of the squad along with his center back pairing, Ruben Dias. This was quite a shock for managers as he was dubbed to be a nailed starter for their season opener at Turf Moor.
Stones was one of the defenders with the highest selected percentage in the game with him being the 3rd highest selected defender in the game with a staggering percentage of 27.2%.
The defender has been an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s 3-2-4-1 system where the England International played as an interior, inn a double pivot with Defensive Midfielder Rodri.
Stones was a nailed starter going into Manchester City’s first fixture but a report about Stones’ hamstring injury did cause a lot of concern and last second doubt amongst managers about the defender’s selection.
Stones could have been a part of the infamous “Pep Roulette”. The Spanish manager is notoriously known for having a heavy rotation amongst his squad for Premier League games.
Many believe that Stones not starting was also because of the ‘Pep Roulette’ and that he has been fit and his selection was to cause a problem in FPL managers’ plan as Manchester City had one of the easiest opening fixtures out of any team, as even mentioned by famous Football, specifically Manchester United oriented youtuber, Mark Goldbridge.
Many famous Youtubers such as KSI and Harry Pinero were also quick to comment on the England International’s sudden absence from City’s squad, as it, may well have ruined their hopes going into a new season of FPL.
many FPL obsessed folk have even started stalking Guardiola’s FPL account, as he is also a player to be ahead of the curve and only include City players who are in his squad.
Guardiola, post game clarified the entire situation stating, that Stones’ hamstring was a cause of concern and the reason behind his exclusion from the squad, he even mentioned that the defender may well not be available for City’s UEFA Super Cup Final against Sevilla.
A similar Situation occurred in today’s game as Arsenal faced Nottingham Forest at the Emirates for their season opener. The game saw some unfamiliar roles and territory for Mikel Arteta’s men as Defensive Midfielder Thomas Partey played as right back. This was due to the absence of Center-back Gabriel Mangalhaes who was on the bench against the tricky trees.
Many Claimed that the Brazilian’s absence was due to a injury while others believe it was due to tactical reasons that Arteta decide to keep Gabriel on the Bench.
Gabriel owners were in a world of worry as people who were smart enough to find Arsenal’s team news leak and switched the Brazilian with Frenchman, William Saliba.
Arsenal looked like they would cruise to victory against Forest with a score of 2-0 with goals from starlet Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah but soon Gabriel owners had something g to cheer for as Ramsdale conceded a goal, thanks to Nottingham’s danger man, Taiwo Awoniyi.
Arsenal concede, which meant Gabriel owners didn’t miss out on anything major and the centre-back even managed to come on for his namesake, Gabriel Marinelli in the 86th minute.
The tweet above just goes to show how unpredictable this game is and how quickly tables can turn to either make or break your day.
FPL pundits and amateurs alike dubbed both Stones and Magalhaes to be major assets as both play for arguably, the best teams in the league, are cheaper than 6.0M and play in an advanced role and are a major aerial threat respectively.