The second international break of the 2023-24 Premier League season is now behind us and it has given us more than a few things to catch up on, especially in terms of injuries and fatigue doubts. Probably the biggest name to came out of the break with an injury is Liverpool’s Andy Robertson, who could be out for a while with a shoulder injury. Other players who are unlikely to feature in gameweek 9 include Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma and Pervis Estupiñañ, Newcastle’s Alexander Isak and Sven Botman, and Nottingham Forest man-in-form Taiwo Awoniyi. The likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw, just to name a few of the big names, are missing out due to injuries that were sustained earlier in the season.
As far as the fixtures go, Fantasy Premier League is returning to action with a boom, as Saturday’s opener is the Merseyside Derby at Anfield. Later that same day, Manchester City are hosting Brighton for what could end up being a footballing festival and, in the evening, last season’s runners-up Arsenal visit Stamfield Bridge for an authentic London Derby. Sunday then brings us a clash between two teams in excellent form, Aston Villa and West Ham, followed by the London Derby between Spurs and Fulham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to close gameweek 9
Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 9 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, October 21st, 2023.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per October 19th, 2023)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Onana (MUN), Ramsdale (ARS), Ederson (MCI)||Areola (WHU), Turner (NOT), Johnstone (CRY)|
|DEF||Estupiñan (BRI), Botman (NEW), Chilwell (CHE)||Cash (AST), Andersen (CRY), Trippier (NEW)||Estupiñan + Chilwell injuries, Botman injury doubt|
|MID||Saka (ARS), Mitoma (BRI), Mbeumo (BRE)||Salah (LIV), Maddison (TOT), Son (TOT)||Saka and Mitoma injury doubts, Son and Maddison form|
|FOR||Haaland (MCI), Awoniyi (NOT), Alvarez (MCI)||Watkins (AST), Isak (NEW), Alvarez (MCI)||Awoniyi injury, Watkins form, Isak form|
Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) hasn’t featured in our gameweek previews very often so far, but in a week where Liverpool host Everton while Manchester City play Brighton at home and Arsenal pay a visit to Chelsea, the Egyptian wizard looks like the stand-out premium fantasy pick. Liverpool’s star man has been in more than decent form so far this season, at least in terms of attacking fantasy returns, with 5 goals and 4 assists from eight league starts. He actually got his highest score of the season so far against Brighton right before the international break, a brace worth 15 FPL points, but he also played two full matches for Egypt after that. We are not worried about that though, as Salah has proven time and time again that his fitness is elite and on top of that, he is Liverpool’s best player, which also explains his penalty duties. We expect him to be present from the start against archrivals Everton to hopefully make it his eighth game with an attacking return in nine.
Contrary to Salah, James Maddison (£7.9m) has featured in our gameweek previews a few times already this season. That’s not so surprising though, when you consider his start at Spurs and the price tag he was given at the start of this campaign. Maddison has started each of the first eight league games under manager Ange Postecoglou, and delivered 2 goals and 5 assists in return. The England international only needed very little time to establish himself as a major creative force in the current new-look no-Kane Spurs squad and Fulham at home is providing him with a great opportunity to add to his more than decent totals. The Cottagers have already conceded 13 goals in the league this season and their Expected Conceded Goals ratio is even a bit worse, still. With Spurs flying high at the moment, we find it hard to see Fulham shutting out their fellow Londoners at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The budget enabler
We’ve got two Liverpool assets in our FPL gameweek preview this week, with Kostas Tsimikas (£4.4m) joining Mo Salah this week. As we mentioned earlier, Andy Robertson is very likely to miss out in gameweek 9 due to a shoulder injury and while no official prognosis has been published yet, some reports are talking about a period of multiple weeks on the sidelines for the left-back. This brings his standard replacement Tsimikas into the mix, as the Greek now looks set to start against Everton on Saturday. The way it looks at the moment, a £4.4m investment now gives you a prime entry into the Liverpool backline for at least a few weeks, which is always worth considering. And Tsimikas is more than just an entry, because he will likely be on a decent number of set-pieces as well, on top of his regular attacking style of playing. With Everton at home followed by Forest at home and Luton away, now looks like the perfect moment to get on the Tsimi-train before it really takes off.
It doesn’t happen often that we repeat a differential fantasy pick who has no returns to his name yet, but we’re doing it this week with Rasmus Hojlund (£7.2). The Dane is actually a bit of a curious case, because this week, he became the first player in FPL history to rise in price twice in one gameweek without having registered a single attacking return. Chances are though, that the people who brought the Man United striker in based their decision on his performances so far in the Champions League, where he already found the net three times in just two games. As far as the league goes, while Hojlund has not had the pleasure of scoring yet, he did get four big chances already. Of course, you want your forwards to convert chances, not just get them, but we see opportunities for improvement in that area when looking at United’s upcoming schedule. After Saturday’s visit to Sheffield United, they are hosting Manchester City before travelling to Fulham, playing Luton at home and then visiting Goodison Park in gameweek 13. Feels like a perfect run of games for a new £70-million striker to get off the mark, or not?
Gameweek 9 is offers a few interesting captaincy candidates and seeing as we went with Mo Salah as our premium fantasy pick of the week, we are also slapping the armband on him. While Everton have not been terribly in defence of late, we don’t see them keeping out the Reds at Anfield and Salah might well be the one to the (most) damage.
Of course, if Erling Haaland is not our captain, he has to be our vice-captain. The Norwegian goalscoring machine is playing at home to Brighton on Saturday afternoon and we wouldn’t be surprised to see that game turn into a complete goal fest. Other attractive options for the captaincy in gameweek 9 are James Maddison and Heung-Min Son at home versus Fulham, Kieran Trippier at home to Crystal Palace and Bruno Fernandes away at Sheffield United on Saturday evening.