We continue our FPL Dilemma series by taking a look at two of world football’s elite frontmen: Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sergio Agüero. We take a look at the reasons behind selecting then for your FPL side and which will be the better selection, while offering value for money as we head into yet another exciting year of Premier League action. Both players offer a history of strong goal records, making the choice a bit more difficult considering their differences in value.
So who to pick from this FPL Dilemma? Read on to find out…
Sergio Agüero (13.0m)
What can I say about Sergio Agüero? The Manchester City forward has done nothing but score goals since his arrival from Atletico Madrid in 2011, including a goal against QPR deep into injury time to snatch City’s first Premier League title. You may have heard about it. He became the quickest foreign player to hit 100 Premier League goals, second quickest overall behind Alan Shearer. His five seasons at City have produced 23, 12, 17, 26 and 24 goals in respective seasons, making a strong case as the Premier League’s best forward. Harry Kane edged Agüero to the golden boot last season, but if one had to guess, he may well go one better next season.
Agüero will start the season with Sunderland (H), Stoke (A), West Ham (H), Manchester United (A) and Bournemouth (H), some appealing fixtures for sure, comparable in many ways with rivals Manchester United in terms of difficulty. One factor that may hold Agüero back is the fact that he tends to go through long spells on the sidelines due to recurring injury problems, however there will be stages throughout the season where the Argentine will be an FPL must. One thing he does offer however, is the potential for mass scoring in particular games, with hat-tricks and even quadruples coming more often than one may expect. The difficulty when it comes to Agüero is knowing when to have him, as opposed to deciding whether or not to own him. One thing is for certain, Agüero will score a lot of goals this coming campaign.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (11.5m)
There’s a lot of guesswork involved in deciding whether or not to select the mighty Zlatan Ibrahimovic for your FPL team. The Swede has scored goals everywhere he has been, and heading into his second spell alongside new United manager José Mourinho he may well be able to produce the goods yet again. Ibra finished last season in Ligue 1 with and astounding 38 goals in just 29 starts as PSG stormed to yet another title win. He will go down as one of Europe’s greatest forwards regardless of how he fairs this season, however in true Zlatan fashion he will be looking to finish his career with a flourish.
Manchester United begin Mourinho’s reign with an appealing opening five against Bournemouth (A), Southampton (H), Hull (A), Manchester City (H) and Watford (A). There will be plenty of opportunities for Zlatan to open his account during these matches, with a lot of FPL points coming as a result. A lot may depend on the position of Wayne Rooney within the United lineup. Should he play in the number 10 position it may pave the way for Zlatan to have a clear run at the first choice striker spot. Also, Zlatan will face a race to be 100% ahead of the coming season after Sweden’s disappointment at Euro 2016 this summer. Having never scored against English opposition Ibrahimovic will no doubt be keen on changing this during this campaign, and if he can replicate the form he has shown across Europe then Premier League fans are in for a treat.
Who to pick?
This match-up may showcase more than meets the eye. I could compare fixtures between the two, but when looking at Sergio Agüero it really doesn’t matter a great deal, while Ibrahimovic enters his first season in England looking to prove that even as he strides towards his 35th birthday he hasn’t lost it. Both have played at tournaments for their national sides this summer and leaves little to separate the two. It remains to be seen how much Ibrahimovic will actually feature for Manchester United this season, and as a result may make it worth waiting to select Ibra for your FPL team.
Then you have the price difference. As the two most expensive players in FPL this season, it’s very impressed to consider whether or not they will make up the points you lose by weakening the rest of your side. For example, when players such as Lukaku are priced at £9.0 m, and Shane Long at £6.5 m, your team could be made significantly stronger all-round were you to leave these two alone. This is no doubt a risk, but in the long-term may benefit FPL managers.
Overall, if you start with one it had to be Agüero for me. We don’t even know exactly how much Ibrahimovic will feature at United, and with Agüero you are guaranteed goals. Of course, he does also represent a fitness risk, but so does a soon to be 35 year-old. For me, it’s a case of better the devil you know. However, it remains to be seen gow to two will fare this season, and with Manchester United’s favourable run later on in the season, Zlatan may see the light of day yet in your FPL sides.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RyanNevin7)