Fantasy Football

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s faith in Riyad Mahrez paying off

Pep Guardiola made signing Riyad Mahrez a priority last summer. Signed for £60 million, Mahrez was expected to be an expensive backup to already established stars. However, the Algerian international has featured in 14 of Manchester City’s 15 Premier League games bucking the expectations that he would play sparingly.

Embed from Getty Images

Against Watford in gameweek 14, Riyad Mahrez ranked as the Fantasy Premier League player of the week with 13 points. His goal and assist helped the Cityzens get past a tricky fixture at Vicarage Road.

Mahrez has now scored five goals and tallied two assists this season. He has contributed to a Manchester City goal every 96 minutes. FPL managers paid just £8.5m for Mahrez ahead of gameweek 14. It is the same price managers will pay for the winger for gameweek 15.

The big questions is, can Mahrez equal his points haul on Saturday at Stamford Bridge? Chelsea’s defence has allowed 13 goals and Mahrez hasn’t performed well against top sides this season in the Premier League. Against Arsenal in gameweek 1, Mahrez played just 59 minutes and tallied one point.

His most notable moment against Liverpool in gameweek 8 was a dreadfully missed penalty that prevented Manchester City from winning. He only managed one point from 90 minutes.

Mahrez did tally a goal against Tottenham allowing him to register 11 points. Meanwhile, gameweek 12 against Manchester United saw Mahrez record FPL points thanks to an assist.

The winger has found form as the season has gone on. Mahrez’s recent performances show just why Guardiola has stuck with him.

Will Mahrez reach his tally of 195 points from last season? Probably not. It is highly unlikely he will repeat the 240 FPL points he scored in Leicester’s title-winning season. Yet, Mahrez can still finish the Premier League season high up the fantasy points charts.

Between gameweek 16’s match against Chelsea and meeting Liverpool in gameweek 21, Manchester City have four games they should win. Mahrez will have plenty of chances to score points in each of those fixtures.