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Ilkay Gundogan latest Man City asset to cash in and give Dream Team gaffers selection headaches

On paper, Man City versus Leeds at the Etihad should have been a massacre.

Pep Guardiola’s side are the Premier League’s top scorers this season while the Whites have the worst defensive record.

The vast majority of Dream Team gaffers would have expected points galore from their Etihad assets but the 2-1 result in favour of the home side did not yield the anticipated returns.

Rodrigo’s (£3.3m) consolation goal wiped out Ederson (£4.7m), Nathan Ake (£5.1m) and company’s clean sheet points and the fact Erling Haaland (£10.5) failed to score was an massive upset in its own right.

The prolific poacher probably would have notched his 36th league goal of the campaign had he not generously (foolishly) allowed Ilkay Gundogan (£3.4m) to take a late penalty because the Germany international was on a hat-trick.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Erling Haaland of Manchester City interacts with Ilkay Guendogan of Manchester City as he takes their sides penalty during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Leeds United at Etihad Stadium on May 06, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Lesson learned

Haaland has a faultless record from the spot in the league this term and he probably regretted his gesture when his team-mate’s penalty hit the post.

Man City’s No9 blanked when all was said and done and will have to turn it on against Real Madrid this evening if he’s to deliver his customary returns this Game Week.

Despite his spot-kick failure, Gundogan was the big winner on Saturday as his brace and subsequent Star Man award earned him 15 points.

The former Borussia Dortmund midfielder currently features in just 4.3% of teams and that slim minority of gaffers would have been delighted with the outcome – it’s rare to benefit from a City asset without mini-league rivals also cashing in.

Dream Team bosses have enough selection headaches as it is without Gundogan’s viability gaining a significant boost.

The 32-year-old is seemingly the first-choice No8 in Guardiola’s preferred system, the midfielder ahead of Rodri (£3.9m) but not as advanced as Kevin De Bruyne (£8.4m).

Saying that, he sat deeper against Leeds and exhibited his impressive habit of arriving late at the edge of the box, not to mention the precision of his finishes (from open play at least).

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Ilkay Guendogan of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their sides first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Leeds United at Etihad Stadium on May 06, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Gundogan has 103 points overall

Once again, Dream Team managers will be debating how many City players is optimum at season reaches its conclusion.

On the one hand, stocking up on City defenders would have yielded disappointing results at the weekend but, on the other hand, those who may have added Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez (£6.3m), who provided both assists, would likely have banked a net gain in their mini-league.

Tonight’s game in Madrid will go along way to determining to what extent gaffers should back City.

If Guardiola’s troops come away from the Bernabeu with an advantage then they’ll be favourites to qualify for the final, adding another fixture to their schedule that already includes four league games and the FA Cup.

In this scenario, it may be worth going all out on the likes of Gundogan, Manuel Akanji (£4.6m) and John Stones (£6.2m).

However, if the Spanish giants get the upper hand then it may be the case that just the mainstream City assets – Haaland, De Bruyne, Ederson, Jack Grealish (£5.1m) – will be sufficient in the coming weeks.

All eyes on Spanish capital…