The Dreaded Goal Drought
Is this the right time for Gabriel Jesus to rediscover his scoring boots?
Seasoned fantasy football managers know all too well how catastrophic it can be to their overall ranking when they stick with a forward that is enduring a long barren spell in front of goal.
A case in point is Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku, who started the season well, before embarking on a run of 12 games and 981 minutes without a goal in all competitions prior to his strike against the Saints at the weekend.
Anybody who kept faith with the Belgium international is likely to have paid a heavy price.
Goalscoring is all about confidence and many strikers will run hot and cold throughout their careers. However, the constant quest to eke out as many fantasy points as possible means that patience is not a commodity too many Fantasy Premier League managers hold in high regard.
In spite of Manchester City’s incredible scoring exploits, Gabriel Jesus is another striker that has been experiencing his own personal goal drought.
The Citizens are again projected to be the highest scoring team in GW15 but their plethora of attacking riches means that the Brazilian forward’s lack of Premier League goals has gone largely unnoticed.
Jesus has now racked up 50 Premier League appearances for City but even though he has featured 11 times in the league, he hasn’t scored since the opening day of the season when he found the back of the net against Huddersfield.
His underlying stats remain strong though but an Understat xG of 4.23 and xA of 1.58 respectively against his actual output of 1 goal and 1 assist, highlights something of an under-performance. However, these figures do put him head and shoulders above every other player that has played a minimum of 300 minutes in the league for xG+xA per 90 combined (1.42).
A hat-trick in the champions’ 6-0 rout of Shakhtar Donetsk on Matchday 5 of the Champions League proved that Jesus can still cut it in front of goal and he may be a viable differential to the in-form pair of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané for GW15.
However, there is one not so small caveat to consider – the possible return of Sergio Agüero who missed out at the weekend through injury..
Jesus has had to play second fiddle to the Argentine striker for the majority of the season but Pep Guardiola has indicated that the young striker will again feature against Watford on Tuesday.
It’s a sentiment that was was echoed by injury expert Ben Dinnery (minus his infamous curtains) in one of his latest videos.
Not a great deal to go on from Pep’s press conference today… My thoughts on Aguero ahead of City’s trip to Vicarage Road. #MCFC pic.twitter.com/rfGvfJrKGQ
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) December 3, 2018
Of course, second guessing Pep is fraught with danger but if you are looking to make up some lost ground why not put a bit of faith in Jesus – it could well be a call worth making!