FPL review: Kane’s goals, why De Bruyne was benched

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City is the second and final Sunday fixture to get the Scout Notes treatment as we look back on the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from north London.

The numbers you see in this article are taken from our Premium Members Area, where you can access Opta player and team data for every single Premier League fixture.


Harry Kane (£11.7m) surpassed Jimmy Greaves to become Tottenham Hotspur’s record goalscorer on Sunday, by netting the winner against Man City.

The champions dominated possession in the early stages but looked vulnerable to the counter attack, with Spurs’ goal arriving after Rodri (£5.6m) gave up possession on the edge of his own box, allowing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£5.5m) to tee up Kane.

The England forward came close to adding a second twice in the second half, ending the match with five shots in the box, which included two Opta-defined ‘big chances’. That was at odds with fellow premium Erling Haaland (£12.2m), who failed to have a single attempt on goal for the first time in Man City colours.

As for Kane, the Spurs forward has been absolutely electric this season, scoring 17 goals and blanking in just five of his 22 league outings. His ownership currently sits at 78.66 per cent in the top 100k, but with a decent run of fixtures still to come (see below), that will continue rising, despite a likely blank in Gameweek 28.

“Harry Kane, in his DNA, he has football. He understands football in every moment. He can play in any position. He is a GOAT in this league, in this sport. He is a great example.” – Cristian Stellini

Elsewhere, Emerson Royal’s (£4.9m) performance means we might have to wait a while longer for Pedro Porro’s (£5.0m) first start, having impressed on Sunday.

Defensively, he was superb, with two interceptions, five ball recoveries and six clearances.

“We have seen him play great games. Against City last season it was similar. Today he was a good player and he used to be better when you are winning. He has to improve in other situations but today he was perfect.” – Cristian Stellini on Emerson Royal


Owners of Kevin De Bruyne (£12.4m) saw the playmaker benched for the second time in three Gameweeks on Sunday, with Julian Alvarez £6.0m) preferred.

Both substitute appearances have arrived against Spurs and their back three/five formation, with Pep Guardiola saying prior to kick-off it was “definitely” a tactical decision.

“We want to defend inside and attack inside, that’s why we put two strikers there to try to put balls to them with Bernardo [Silva] in the first half and second with Kevin [De Bruyne] and be patient.” – Pep Guardiola

De Bruyne was introduced just before the hour mark, replacing Riyad Mahrez (£7.7m), who came closest to scoring in the first half when his shot rattled the crossbar.

On bringing De Bruyne on, Guardiola said:

“I wanted him for the last pass, to find between the lines, he can make one of these actions and that was the reason.” – Pep Guardiola

£12.4m is a lot of money for a player who isn’t a sure starter each week, but his owners will likely keep faith ahead of Man City’s Double Gameweek 23, in the hope he is reinstalled in the starting XI against Aston Villa and Arsenal, both of whom traditionally line-up in back four formations.

It’s also worth noting De Bruyne created more chances (three) than any player from either side despite being on the pitch for just 31 minutes.

Phil Foden (£8.0m), meanwhile, was not involved at all after feeling ill overnight.

“He was there at the hotel. He felt unwell all night – really, really bad.” – Pep Guardiola on Phil Foden


Rico Lewis (£3.9m) lined up on the left of Man City’s back four against Spurs, which coincided with him completing 90 minutes in a league fixture for the first time this season.

It’s an intriguing development in light of Joao Cancelo’s departure to Bayern Munich, having previously been deployed solely on the right, from where he would often invert into midfield.

There is, of course, still plenty of competition for places even on the left, with Nathan Ake (£5.1m) and Aymeric Laporte (£5.7) both able to perform the role.

However, Lewis’ positional versatility is undoubtedly a plus, adding another string to the youngster’s bow.

Above: Rico Lewis’ average position by Gameweek

Tottenham Hotspur XI: Lloris; Romero, Dier, Davies; Royal, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Perisic (Sessegnon 79); Kulusevski (Sanchez 88), Son (Bissouma 84), Kane

Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Akanji, Ake, Lewis; Mahrez (De Bruyne 59), Rodri, Bernardo (Gundogan 84), Grealish; Alvarez, Haaland

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