Written by: Craig Daniels
With Yaya Toure off to the African Cup of Nations for the month, the roles of Silva, Aguero, Tevez and the like become increasingly important. As Mancini’s options become limited, rotation becomes imminent resulting in a variety of different role changes, we take a look at the most effective combination in an attempt to find the favourite combination for the future.
These tables show the 3 different combinations Mancini has altered to during the heavy January period. One being Edin Dzeko playing up front with Silva on the left and Tevez through the middle, a second being Dzeko up front with Aguero on the left and Silva in behind and a third being Tevez and Aguero up front with Silva through the middle. During the Fulham game it was clear that Silva dominated 7 pen tchs 3 shots inside pen area and 6 chances created resulting in 2 goals and 15 fpl points. With a template midfield becoming somewhat predictable, many managers will turn to Silva chasing his form; with Steven Gerrard also providing an alternative. Silva’s fixtures seem somewhat more appealing.
Source: (442 Stats Zone iPhone App) The variety of options that Mancini has utilized over the past month is indicated in the table above. However it is clear that the quick passing, fluent ball movement game plan is exploited best through Tevez and Aguero up front, and the crossing, physical game plan of recent is best employed through the use of several attacking midfielders and Dzeko as a lone man upfront, seeing the rotation of the two Argentinians over an extended period.
A visual comparison of David Silva’s impact on the ball in the 2-0 wins over Arsenal and Fulham, showing a similar impact with only a slightly deeper role in the away win at the emirates to the home demolition of Fulham in which he predominantly sat on the right flank.
Carlos Tevez’s altering role vs Fulham as an attacking midfielder and Sunderland as a second striker is key with his altering role significantly impacting the positioning and role of Aguero and Dzeko.
Edin Dzeko has also thrived on this formation, with Tevez and Silva feeding balls into the box he has been able to create several chances for others and for himself. 3 chances created, 7 shots and 7 penalty area touches. His goal scoring from headers also seems to taken a turn for the better with 3/8 aerial duels won and several more crosses supplied by the duo in Silva and Tevez. The latter, however has seemingly suffered under this reign with neither the formation with Dzeko or Aguero providing any goals in his last 4, even though statistics have shown that his form may be appealing enough for further investment. Tevez has struggled to find any rhythm and goal scoring form from a deeper position. 22 successful passes in the final third and 5 shots along with 4 chances allude to positive form, however many of these opportunities came from just inside the final third with Silva, Dzeko and Milner capturing the long balls played in by Tevez. At 8.9 Tevez seems good value, but with heavy rotation several other routes to goal it is recommended that Dzeko at 7.5 and Silva even at 9.4 offer more opportunities for points.
Apologies if the images were hard to read, we were having trouble transferring them across! Look out for the captains and review to come shortly, followed by the GW25 preview!