Gameweek 9: #FPL Preview – Written by @NiallHawthorne
Thankfully the second international break of the season is behind us and we now hurtle headlong into a nice long run of…. four GW’s until the next break.
OH FOR **** SAKE.
As you should know by now my previews are 90% FPL insight and 10% current affairs ranting. (ED: starting to feel the other way around!)
So what world events did we miss during the break? Well, Brexit is going astonishingly well as the UK Government forcefully reject the proposals and ideas that the UK Government put forward just weeks before. That’s a novel approach. Donald Trump offered to pay $1m to Elizabeth Warren if she proved she was of Native American descent, and when she produced a DNA test that did just that he said he never said it, then said he’d only believe her if he tested her ‘personally’. Man, that’s just all kinds of creepy. Finally, there was joyous news as it was announced that Prince Harry and Princess Sparkle, Meghan Markle, are expecting their first baby. All credit to Harry – I haven’t seen a ginger move that fast since Chris Evans was presenting Top Gear.
Now onto Game week 9! Hurrah! (ED: We made it folks… on to Fantasy Football Content…)
Defender: Andrew Robertson, Liverpool
Huddersfield Town have played four home league games this season and are yet to hit the back of the net. Liverpool stroll into town this weekend with the joint best defensive record in the league, conceding just three goals in 8 league games.
Albert Einstein was a clever chap. He once opined that two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity, and he wasn’t sure about the universe. If you don’t play Andy Robertson this week then you’ll prove Albert Einstein right. Your move, soldier.
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Midfielder: Raheem Sterling, Manchester City
I was sorely tempted to tip Eden Hazard this week as he’s in ‘Salah 17/18’ form. However, Eden faces a home game against a Manchester United team under pressure, and a manager with an ego that Donald Trump envies. Jose returns to Stamford Bridge after spending the last fortnight plotting and planning, and it would be no surprise at all if he unveiled a new bus and parked it at Stamford Bridge at lunchtime on Saturday.
Then Raheem Sterling produced a performance on Monday night in Seville that was a mix between John Barnes in the Maracanã and Michael Owen at France ’98, so his spirit is higher than a bottle of vodka atop Mount Everest. A home game against Burnley presents a relatively straightforward challenge for Pep’s troops this weekend, and with Kun normally hooked after an hour, it will fall to Raheem Sterling to lead the line for most of the 90 minutes. With 3 goals and 2 assists in his last five games, and an ownership of under 6%, Raheem is an FPL dream.
Forward: Callum Wilson, Bournemouth
Bournemouth are the surprise package of the season thus far, and after 8 GW’s you should start thinking that this is form rather than a blip. Therefore, we should probably stop considering them to be a surprise, and get on the Bournemouth bandwagon asap. Callum Wilson has an astonishing 7 assists mixed with 3 goals this season, and is fresh off the back of a 14-point haul at Watford in GW8. Bournemouth have yet to score less than two goals in a home league game this season and face a home game against a Southampton side seemingly devoid of any inspiration, leadership, quality and a defence that has conceded at least twice in each of their last four outings.
Ah Mark Hughes, you really must interview incredibly well to keep getting these jobs.
Captain: Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal
Another ‘either/or’ choice for me this week as my old reliable Sergio Aguero has an enticing home game against Burnley this weekend, and hasn’t let me down this season when handed the armband (unlike that disgrace of a footballer Harry ‘All Pain No Gain’ Kane last week, the fraud). However, Aguero has been hooked before the 66th minute of each of his last four starts, and that means he misses over a quarter of every match. In that case I want his score to be 125% higher if I captain him. I wrote to @OfficialFPL about this during the break, and can confirm that they have blocked me as a result. Some people are just so sensitive.
So therefore, we come to the form striker in the league, playing for a team on a run of nine consecutive wins, and facing a less than watertight Leicester team under the lights on Monday Night Football. Logically he’s the right pick, but there’s something horrifying about your captain playing in the last match of the weekend. You’re probably facing ridicule for your lower than average score on Monday morning in the office, but if you’re right then you’re marching into work like the Wolf of Wall Street on Tuesday morning. Willing to roll the dice?
Outsider: DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle United
The fixture list was not kind to Rafa Benitez this season. His first 8 GW’s saw him face five of last season’s top 6 teams, but from here on in Newcastle have 10 straight GW’s without a game ranked harder than ‘3’ by FPL. Rafa knows that his seasons starts here, so expect Newcastle to be far more competitive from this point on. Yedlin has a goal and an assist to his name already and with an ownership of just over 1% he could be a real differential for the next few months.
Draft: David Brooks, Bournemouth
I’ll admit that he looks like he should be auditioning for Simon Cowell in some fancy LA mansion this weekend, but don’t let the boyband looks distract you from his potential. I’ve already spoken about Bournemouth being this seasons bandwagon, and young Brooks has two goals in his last two games, and has started all but one game this season. Get on it.
Written by Niall Hawthorne.
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