With City now facing CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) for the second time in three years, the question is whether this time there will be serious consequences for the eight-time Premier League winners. In 2020, a statute of limitations clause meant that worse could be averted, but now that argument could no longer be used. If the allegations prove true, the Citizens could also be deducted points just like Juventus. In the worst-case scenario, there could even be a forced relegation or a revocation of all titles won in the years 2009-2018. At the moment, however, nothing has been definitively proven and we focus on Matchday 23, which holds some exciting games and picks.
David Raya (93₵, Brentford): That he is the strongest goalkeeper at SPITCH is no secret, as he has the most average points and leads the stats of shots held and super passes, both throughout the season and in the last five matchdays. He has also managed to play to nil in his last two games, as many times as he has in his last 24 previous games. Opponents Arsenal are averaging 5.5 shots on goal, giving the Spaniard huge scoring potential, but also always in danger of conceding a few goals.
Gabriel (110₵, Arsenal): When you talk about the Gunners, you can’t miss him. In defence, he is the most outstanding player as he shows strength offensively and defensively. He has the most average points and, with eleven shots on goal, as many as his three defensive colleagues put together. He could have an especially good game against Brentford, because in addition to his scoring threat and defensive strengths, his passing accuracy could pay dividends. Brentford have the ball third least often in the league, averaging 42% possession. Arsenal, on the other hand, average over 10% more possession, allowing Gabriel to score some points with his 90% passing rate.
Rico Lewis (55₵, Man. City): The 18-year-old talent seems to have slowly established himself in Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up and is now also allowed to play as a central midfielder. He seems to feel particularly comfortable in this position and was able to show strong performances in the FA Cup against Arsenal and also in the Prem. League against Tottenham. Against Spurs he scored 225 points and shone through his passing. If he starts again against Aston Villa, then he should definitely be considered as he is the cheapest outfield player at City who has played so far this season.
Maximilian Kilman (87₵, Wolverhampton): The centre-back has managed to get back to his old strength in recent games. In his last four games he scored more than 300 points in three of them and stands out for his defensive strengths. He blocked 7 shots, intercepted 32 balls and won 18 duels. This weekend it’s against last-placed Southampton and he could put in another strong performance. Wolves have more possession away from home, averaging 49.9%, while Saints only average 43.3% possession at home, which should allow Kilman to get some ball action.
Fabian Schär (90₵, Newcastle): Back to form, the Magpies’ Swiss centre-back has always scored more than 300 in his last three games and is part of the best defence of the second half of the season. With an outstanding 73% tackling rate and a good 76% passing rate, he could impress again against an in-form Bournemouth, who are without a win in six games.
Kenny Tete (54₵, Fulham): The Cottagers’ Dutch right-back is managing consistently good games and is one of the key performers for promoted Fulham. He has been scoring in the green for six games and manages to get involved everywhere on the pitch. He has four assists in this Prem. League season, but also shines with a strong tackling rate of 73%. For Fulham, it’s against another promoted side Nottingham, who are unbeaten in five games. However, the Tricky Trees’ good form should not stop the full-back from continuing to put in strong performances.
Kaoru Mitoma (44₵, Brighton): He’s featured in the preview recently, but at this price and scoring potential, he can’t miss out on this matchday either. Over the last few games he has developed into one of the strongest attacking players at the moment, scoring four goals himself, setting up two and firing on target four times in the last five games. Opponents Palace have not won in five games and are therefore in their worst period since Patrick Viera took over. So should Mitoma manage to build on his performances he is a must in any line-up.
Thomas Partey (90₵, Arsenal): The Gunners defensive midfielder has managed to score solid points regularly all season, but his performances in the last four games stand out. He averaged 280 points in those games and, in addition to his accurate passing rate of 87% and his defensive strengths, he also manages to score offensively. On average, he shot 1.25 times on goal per game.
Ruben Neves (123₵, Wolverhampton): After his price increase, he was picked much less often and delivered rather inconsistently after the first half of the season, but his performances lately, make him much more attractive again. Especially in the 3-0 win against Liverpool, he was almost everywhere on the pitch and even managed to score, collecting 511 points and being the third best player of the matchday. Against Southampton, where things are far from good, he could impress again and put in another outstanding performance.
Marcus Rashford (106₵, Man. United): After the World Cup, Marcus Rashford’s form curve has literally exploded and he has been able to score in the last six consecutive matchdays. In addition to his six goals, he has set up a goal and averaged 1.8 shots on target. He also scored again during the week in the 2-2 draw against Leeds in the catch-up game. It’s back against Leeds this weekend and he’ll be going all out to record a win this time.
Riyad Mahrez (120₵, Man. City): The Algerian really had a poor start to the season and had to spend a lot of time on the bench, but his performances in the last seven Prem. League games, earned him a regular place in Pep Guardiola’s starting eleven again. He has scored three times and set up four goals in the last seven games. Some of those games were catch-up games, which is why his increased performance is not reflected as well in his points, but that could change against Aston Villa.
Other players to keep an eye on are Craig Dawson (92₵, Wolverhampton), who has had many solid performances of late, Solomon March (79₵, Brighton), who has scored three goals, set up one and had ten shots on goal in his last four games, and Bukayo Saka (100₵, Arsenal), who has managed to score once in his last two games and collected a full seven shots on goal.
About me: I have been assisting SPITCH in its various divisions for over a year now. With my experience on the free pitches, I want to help you find interesting players that maybe not everyone has on their radar.