The highly anticipated Double Gameweek 29 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) kicked off with a thrilling fixture between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad. The second-placed City took on the sixth-placed Liverpool, with a win for the hosts taking them five points behind league leaders Arsenal, who played later in the day.
Liverpool needed a result to maintain their push for a UEFA Champions League qualification spot, their only remaining achievable goal of a sub-par season. Both sides faced a challenge with their big-money forwards being absent from the starting XIs. Darwin Nunez was on the bench for the visitors, while Erling Haaland was absent from the City matchday squad altogether due to a groin injury.
Phil Foden was also unavailable for City after having appendix surgery, leaving the frontline of Riyad Mahrez, Julian Alvarez, and Jack Grealish for the reigning champions. City had four recognised centre-halves across their backline with John Stones and Nathan Ake deployed as full-backs.
Liverpool made two changes to the side that was knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid. James Milner and Darwin dropped to the bench as Jordan Henderson and Harvey Elliott came into the side. Darwin had to pull out of international duty with an injury, but his ankle wound had healed sufficiently for him to rejoin training this week.
Ultimately, it was City who came out victorious with a 2-0 win over Liverpool. İlkay Gündoğan scored the opener in the second half, with Kevin De Bruyne adding a second from the penalty spot. The win takes City to within four points of league leaders Arsenal.
The two sides were the top-performing teams in the previous FPL Gameweek, with five City and four Liverpool players making it into the top 10 performing players of the week. However, in this fixture, there were no standout performances from either side, with no player involved in the goals or assists.
FPL managers who added City assets to their team for this Double Gameweek are likely to be happy with the result, having secured a clean sheet for their defenders and points from Gundogan, De Bruyne, and Mahrez. Meanwhile, Liverpool players did not perform up to their usual standard, with Salah failing to score and Alexander-Arnold receiving a yellow card.
The Double Gameweek continues with another fixture for Liverpool away at Chelsea on Tuesday. With only six fixtures taking place in Gameweek 29, FPL managers will be hoping for more explosive performances from their players in the remaining fixtures to maximize their points haul.