Since I am a bit of a Pep fan, though not one of Man City; and being a formations / strategy nerd, I thought of providing my take on what City’s formations would look like – with specific focus on how it affects fantasy football – PS: I am not doing one for Arsenal, because my personal biases on players often impact my comments…
Most often 4-3-3. The alternate is 3-5-2, which will be deployed much less often.
Aguero first choice, Jesus second choice. Sterling third choice. I do not see both of Aguero and Jesus playing together often, even in the 3-5-2. There, I suspect Sterling to reprise his role for England as the second striker. Also, here’s a judgment call – last season we saw that when Aguero is fit, he almost always plays. Jesus plays when Aguero is injured. I think it will be a bit more distributed this season i.e. even if Aguero is not injured, the distribution of playing minutes would be about 60:40. Jesus is far too good already to not get a lot of minutes.
CF: Aguero (Jesus) (– Sterling)
Wing forwards in a 4-3-3, and full backs (which should be discussed together, I think)
It seems from the pre-season and GW1 (where my team was quite comfortably beaten) that most of the width will be provided by the full backs than wingers (more Barcelona, less Munich). Interesting to note though that the backups for Mendy (Delph), and Walker (Danilo) are better as inverted fullbacks, than flying attacking fullbacks. I assume therefore that if the first choice are injured , then the formation becomes more Munich for that wing, with the winger providing the width – similar to last season on the left, where the width was provided by Sane, a traditional winger – and not Delph the fullback.
Thus, with Mendy and Walker playing in a 4-3-3, the wing forwards would both be cutting inside (and that was the formation we saw at the Emirates). Sterling on the left, Mahrez on the right. Tentatively I suggest that their first backups are Jesus and Sane respectively. (thus my emerging hypothesis is that Mahrez is the first choice right wing attacker,and Sane is his primary backup. It could as well be Sane first choice and Mahrez as backup.
Thus : in a 4-3-3,
RB: Walker (Danilo) (– Stones)
LB: Mendy (Delph) (– Zinchenko)
RW: Mahrez (Sane) (— Bernardo)
LW: Sterling (Jesus) (— Brahim Diaz)
This is simple. And stays consistent in a 4-3-3 and 3-5-2
Deepest midfielder: Fernandinho (Gundogan) (– Delph) (others–Zinchenko, Gomes)
RCM: KDB (Gundogan) (– Foden)
LCM: Bernardo Silva (David Silva, or the other way around) (– Foden)
Very difficult to say. I assume that in normal circumstances, Kompany plays key games. But he will be heavily rotated even when fit. I think Guardiola’s ideal formation is with Laporte as LCB and Stones as RCB, though I do not think they are ready to play together consistently yet, and Guardiola will pair one with Kompany and Otamendi. As for Otamendi, even with all last season’s heroics, I somehow see him as 4th choice, and not a natural fit for Guardiola. He will play enough too, but will not have the security of starts as he had last season. Two of Tosin, Mangala, Denayer and the new guy will be sent on loan I think.