It’s that time again…
October is gone but we’ll linger on it for a while yet as we take a look at the Football Index Team of the Month…
Not a bad collection of names is it?
And there is a definite German slant to the XI, with six players coming from the Bundesliga – three from Bayern Munich, two from Borussia Dortmund and one from RB Leipzig.
With their side’s results during October, it’s no surprise to see them lord the backline.
Lucien Favre’s men played six times – four in the Bundesliga and two in the UEFA Champions League – keeping five clean sheets.
And this has meant they also hold the best defensive record in the German top flight, having kept five clean sheets out of their six outings.
What’s even more extraordinary about Akanji’s presence in the TOTM is that he actually contracted coronavirus during October, missing two games as a result.
Given his improved form – his performances were under scrutiny at the end of last season – perhaps it was no coincidence that in his absence Dortmund suffered their only defeat of the month to Lazio.
As a reaction to his form, his price on the Index shot up from £0.69 on October 5 to £0.94 on November 5 – a 36% increase.
November will provide a real test of his – and Dortmund’s – credentials as they face Bayern this weekend.
One man stands above everyone else though – Lionel Messi – racking up a giant 859 points.
The little genius has seemed below his usual standards of late, but he’s still aceing our TOTM rankings, and his four assists and three goals from eight games this campaign would be an excellent return in anyone else’s language.
With uncertainty still hanging around his Barcelona future, the Argentinian is still an attractive man to hold in your portfolio.
The Man City right-back had a terrific month as part of a defence that conceded just three goals in their six matches, and even scored against his boyhood club Sheffield United.
Sarabia was even closer to a spot in the XI, finishing just 15 points behind fourth-placed midfielder Kevin De Bruyne after showing good form for Paris Saint-Germain, with four assists already in Ligue 1.
With October complete, it gives us a chance to look back over the last four TOTMs since we started the concept in July, and assess which players have been the most lucrative.
And that shapes the top of the rankings, with the top five all featuring in multiple months.
|5||Kevin De Bruyne||£0.10||£0.01||£0.11|
November represents another chance to make an impact, and here are three picks we’re making to feature in the next TOTM.
Add to that five goals and there’s a matchday machine ready to take off.
He saw his dream move to Barcelona go up in smoke over the summer, but he looks like a man determined to keep up his form and make it happen in January.
OK, so we might be cheating with this one a bit given Alassane Plea’s sensational display against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League this week, grabbing a hat-trick and an assist in his side’s remarkable 6-0 away win.
But his form in Europe’s premier competition was already turning heads, with three assists before that, including two against Real Madrid.
The 27-year-old is coming into his own under Marco Rose, and if he can replicate his European performances in the Bundesliga this month – an encounter against struggling Schalke should help – then he will surely be in and around the TOTM come the final reckoning.
The £0.05 goalkeeper TOTM bonus can sometimes be overlooked, but it shouldn’t be.
And Edouard Mendy – who came third in October’s GK TOTM rankings – could be a candidate to jump onto the podium’s top step in November.
He’s secured the number one jersey at Chelsea for the foreseeable future, he’s kept five clean sheets in his first six games for the club, and he has five fixtures ahead in November against the likes of Sheffield United – who have scored just three times in the Premier League so far – Newcastle and Rennes (twice) in the Champions League.
*Share Prices accurate at the time of writing.