Gameweek 9 ahead and a two week break from PL Football behind. A lot of matches in Nations League around Europe, Qualification games for Africa Cup of nations and Friendlies around the world have been played and there has been both positive and negative experiences for our fantasy assets. As follow a few interesting things to have in mind when you are about to shape up your team for the upcoming gameweek.
Mohamed Salah (12.8m) scored and got injured in Egypt’s 4-1 win over Swaziland. The Liverpool midfielder returned to England after the match for further assessment and is right now a doubt for Liverpool’s match against Huddersfield. Also Virgil van Dijk (5.9m) and
Sadio Mane (9.9m) are yellowed flagged and have to be assessed before the weekend.
Romelu Lukaku (10.9m) scores for fun when he’s playing for his country. He netted two goals in Belgium’s 2-1 over Switzerland. The Manchester United forward has now scored five goals in four matches for Belgium this autumn while he in a Manchester United shirt has managed 4 goals in 8 matches. Lukaku is not the only Man Utd player performing for his country but not so much for his club. Other players that seems to enjoy playing for their national teams are Pogba, Rashford, Lindelöf and so on, who all putted in decent performances during the break.
The most popular player in the FPL transfer market during the international break, Matt Doherty (4.7m) played 90 minutes as the Republic of Ireland were beaten 1-0 by Wales. Doherty has been transferred in by 373,000+ Fantasy managers ahead of Gameweek 9.
Raheem Sterling (11.1m) (2 goals), Marcus Rashford (6.7m) (1 goal and 1 assist) and Harry Kane (12.5m) (2 assists) all delivered attacking returns for England in their entertaining 3-2 win over Spain on monday evening. Sterling (11.1m) has already scored 50 FPL points this season but is overlooked by almost all FPL managers. His 5,6 % ownership is ridiculous low for a player of his calibre but it’s for sure his hefty price tag that has putted many managers of. After such a good displays for both club and country his ownership will rise in upcoming weeks. For those who is or is about to wildcard he could be a good differential.
Gameweek 9 fixtures:
Chelsea - Man Utd
Chelsea hosts Manchester United in the early kick-off game on Saturday. Chelsea are seeking to extend their unbeaten start, while Manchester United are hoping to build on their comeback against Newcastle United. If Chelsea win the game it they will be unbeaten in their first nine matches of a Premier League season for the third time. In previous seasons when they had such a good start (2005/06 and 2014/15) they also won the the title.
Stamford bridge hasn’t been the best of stadiums for Manchester United in recent years. They haven’t managed a victory at Stamford Bridge in all competitions since Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012/13 season and we should also take into consideration that Chelsea are one of only two sides (the other is Brighton) against whom United have lost more matches in the Premier League than they have won, suffering 18 defeats.
Chelsea are hoping that Eden Hazard can continue his brilliant early-season form. At the moment Hazard is the PL’s top scorer with seven goals. He has also made three assists which makes him the first player to record 10 goal involvements this season.
Heading into to the game Man Utd have got several injury doubts. Scott McTominay (4.3m) and Marouane Fellaini (5.0m) are doubts while Luke Shaw (5.1m) and Nemanja Matic (5.0m) withdrew from the England and Serbia squads respectively with injuries and will be assessed before the weekend. Jesse Lingard (6.7m) has not played since the EFL Cup defeat to Derby but are likely to be fit and Ander Herrera (5.0m), who has performed impressively against Eden Hazard in past fixtures, has returned to training and should also be back ready to follow every step Hazard takes. Alexis Sanchez' (10.0m) late return from the international break means that he may not be fit enough to start. Antonio Rudiger (5.9m) is a doubt for Chelsea after withdrawing from the Germany squad with a groin injury.
Possible starting lineups:
Chelsea: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Jorginho, Kovacic, Kante; Willian, Hazard, Giroud
Man Utd: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw; Fellaini, Matic, Pogba; Sanchez, Lukaku, Rashford
Wolves - Watford
This is the first ever Premier League meeting between Wolves and Watford.
There were high expectations on Wolverhampton Wanderers when this season began and so far they have lived up to the expectations. They are now on 7th place in the table and are aiming to complete a hat-trick of Premier League victories. Wolves’ score of 15 points from eight PL matches is the best start by a promoted club since 2008/09, when Hull City banked 17 points from eight matches. Watford started the season really well and are still on a fine 9th place, only two points behind Wolves. In recent games though, it has been more difficult to get points. After four consecutive games without a victory they are now attempting to recapture their early-season form.
Wolves have no fresh injury concerns ahead of Saturday's meeting and Nuno could name the same starting XI for the ninth Premier League game in a row. Watford are in bigger trouble with suspensions and injuries. Christian Kabasele (4.5m) serves a one-match ban for his red card against Bournemouth before the international break, while Jose Holebas (4.9m) is also banned after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season. Daryl Janmaat (4.9m) and Tom Cleverley (5.0m) will continue to miss out with injuries.
Possible starting lineups:
Wolves: Rui Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Jonny Castro; Helder Costa, Jimenez, Diogo Jota
Watford: Foster; Kiko Femenia, Cathcart, Prodl, Mariappa; Hughes, Doucoure, Capoue, Pereyra; Deeney, Gray
This could well be an entertaining monday night football game. I have the feeling both teams could go for it and that it could just end up in a high scoring game, but you never know. Arsenal are aiming to maintain their strong run of form. They have 5 consecutive wins and the history books says there could be one more on Monday. Arsenal have never lost a Premier League home match against Leicester City and have won the last 11 in a row. The Gunners have also won more PL matches and points in the month of October than any other side, winning 59 times and collecting 200 points.
Leicester have a decent away from with victories from two of their last three PL away matches but on the other hand the Foxes are winless in their last seven league matches in London. Last time the won in London was against West Ham in March 2017. Leicester are now seeking to get back on track after the 3-0 defeat to Everton before the international break and a point or three would be welcomed.
A man to look out for, for both Arsenal defenders and FPL managers is Jamie Vardy (9.0m). He has scored six goals in as many PL starts against Arsenal and he just seems to love playing against the top six clubs. Vardy has been involved in 34 goals in 46 PL appearances against last season’s top-six sides, with 27 goals and seven assists.
Mesut Ozil (8.3m) has returned to full training after his recent back problem and should be in contention to start the game while Petr Cech (5.0m) is to be assessed in the coming days after his hamstring injury. Leicester captain Wes Morgan (4.5m) will be suspended after his red card against Everton.
Possible starting lineups:
Arsenal: Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal; Torreira, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Aubameyang; Lacazette
Leicester: Schmeichel; Amartey, Maguire, Evans, Chilwell; Ndidi, Mendy; Ricardo Pereira, Iheanacho, Maddison; Vardy
I will try my luck with Vardy (9.0m) once more. He was my steem pick in gameweek two but got a red card and -1 points. Now he plays Arsenal in great form but as mentioned before he loves playing against big clubs. Arsenal, even though they have won games recently, haven’t really been tested and at times they defence have looked really shaky. I hope Vardy will add to his six goals against Arsenal and even though he blanks this gameweek he has got great fixtures coming up, so investing your money in him should be a decent move.
Disclaimer: This post is written by @matinho. The rewards of these posts are gathered in a pool to be rewarded to managers of the league and authors at the end of the season.
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