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AWKWARD

Is it time to ditch the fourth-most popular forward in Dream Team right now?

It’s time we discussed the Raheem Sterling (£5.2m) situation.

Man City’s no7, formerly of the Super League (RIP), has suffered a downturn in form in recent weeks.

And his timing is unfortunate, not only because Pep Guardiola’s side are still hunting trophies on multiple fronts, but because his points dried up right after we recommended Dream Team bosses should use a transfer to bring in – sorry about that.


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Lean spell

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Lean spell

Sterling has added just five points to his tally since the start of Game Week 23.

No player is immune to Guardiola’s rotation but the England winger used to be one of the Catalan gaffer’s favourites – Sterling recently surpassed Lionel Messi as the player to make the most appearances under Guardiola.

However, there seems to have been a change to the pecking order with Phil Foden (£4.9m) trusted to play from the left in City’s biggest games.

The talented youngster excelled in both legs of the Champions League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund.

Sterling has been increasingly restricted to substitute cameos while failing to make the most of his opportunities in the starting XI when given them – he was one of a number of sub-par City players at Wembley last weekend as Chelsea progressed to the FA Cup final.

It’s extremely tempting for Dream Team gaffers to retain faith in Sterling, given City’s schedule and his history – no player scored more Dream Team points in 2019/20.

A fallow run

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A fallow run

However, five points from eight outings is nowhere near good enough at this crucial stage of the season.

And this is not a problem affecting only a handful of bosses, since Sterling is the fourth-most popular forward in the game at the time of writing with an ownership of 23.2%.

His season total of 169 points remains impressive – only six forwards have more currently – but recent returns suggest he’s likely to slide down the rankings as the campaign comes to a conclusion.

With fitness concerns over several forwards this week, identifying a replacement may not be straightforward but action seems necessary ahead of the next Game Week.

Cue a Sterling hat-trick against Aston Villa this evening…


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