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Managers agonising over Aguero dilemma

The Scout 20 Oct 2016
Scout: Aguero 201016

Will top-owned FPL striker be benched again, asks The Scout, as Mesut Ozil's stock rises

Sergio Aguero's (£13.1m) absence from Manchester City's starting XI at Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League has presented hundreds of thousands of Fantasy Premier League managers with a big selection predicament.

By far the most popular player in FPL, Aguero sits in 44.8% (1.8million) squads and expected to return to City's first XI in Barcelona after being benched for the 1-1 draw with Everton on Saturday.

But Aguero was restricted to a late cameo as a result of Pep Guardiola's tactical tinkering.

Having scored five goals in six appearances, Aguero remains one of the most reliable forwards in the Premier League but Guardiola's recent teamsheets have raised questions over the security of the striker's pitch time.

Sergio Aguero, Man City
Sergio Aguero was afforded 11 minutes of action in Man City's match against Barcelona

If he is left out of Sunday's home match with Southampton, Aguero's FPL owners will need to reassess their options.

This could promote interest in City's top-scoring midfield assets, Kevin De Bruyne (£10.6m) and Raheem Sterling (£8.5m), who retained their starting places in Spain.

De Bruyne, who was fielded as the most advanced midfielder in the 4-0 defeat at Camp Nou, has produced FPL points in five of seven appearances, with an average of 7.0 points per match, which is more than any team-mate.

But he is owned by only 9.3% of FPL managers ahead of Gameweek 9.

Ozil streak goes on

Another midfielder likely to find favour among the FPL fraternity is Mesut Ozil (£9.5m), who was Arsenal's star performer in their 6-0 home win against Ludogorets Razgrad.

The German has found the net in three of the last six Gameweeks and collected three goals and his first assist of the season as Arsenal extended their winning streak in all competitions to seven matches.

Mesut Ozil, Arsenal v Ludogorets Razgad
Mesut Ozil is becoming a growing goal threat after scoring in three of the last six Gameweeks

Alexis Sanchez (£11.3m) and Theo Walcott (£7.9m) continued their fine form by grabbing a goal apiece before both were replaced.

Walcott's weekend brace in the 3-2 Premier League victory over Swansea City sent him to the top of the FPL midfield standings, with four goals and two assists in his previous four top-flight matches.

Owned by 23.7% of FPL managers, Sanchez has returned three goals and two assists over that period thanks to a role up front.

The in-form Arsenal trio are among the favourites for captaincy for Gameweek 9 as Arsene Wenger’s side welcome Middlesbrough.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£5.8m) is pushing for a first start since Gameweek 4. Replacing Alex Iwobi (£5.8m) on the left in one of four alterations, Oxlade-Chamberlain provided a goal and an assist.

At the back, Arsenal's improved resilience has earned them five clean sheets in their last six matches in all competitions.

Hector Bellerin (£6.5m) and Laurent Koscielny (£6.3m), with 26.3% and 14.9% ownership respectively, look well placed for defensive returns against a Boro side who have produced the fewest shots on target (seven) from a Premier League side over the last four Gameweeks.

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