Injuries, fatigue, and a few surprising results. Gameweek 9 had it all for the Fantasy Football manager with prize stakes to play for and it has only just finished. Burnley beat Crystal Palace by 1-0 and Southampton drew 1-1 against Wolves at Saint Mary’s on Monday. Neither of these games will be taken into account below, though we do want to mention that Palace star Wilfried Zaha was left out of the squad due to an unknown injury. The weekend offered us plenty of talking points nonetheless as do 1xBet promo with promotional ideas and guidance to help take advantage of betting on sport. In this piece, we’ll be highlighting a few interesting points from gameweek 9 in the build-up to GW10.
Liverpool squad strength
Many fans, pundits and FPL managers saw Sunday’s encounter between Liverpool and Leicester at Anfield as a chance for the Foxes to capitalise on the injury crisis ravaging the Reds at the moment. The likes of Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho and, of course, Mo Salah were all absent from the squad this weekend, so it looked like a perfect opportunity for Leicester to confirm their status of outsiders of the season. That didn’t happen, though.
In an open and entertaining game, the Reds grabbed a lucky lead through a Johnny Evans own goal and a Diogo Jota header on an inch-perfect cross from Andy Robertson before the half. In the second half, Roberto Firmino made it 3-0 with his second goal of the season and that’s how it ended. Liverpool showed that they can cope for the moment and that their squad depth is sufficient to book impressive results, even when key performers are ineligible.
As far as FPL goes, Leicester are up for games against Fulham, Brighton and Everton at home, and Sheffield United away over the next four, so fantasy assets like Jamie Vardy, James Justin and even Harvey Barnes look appealing. In terms of the Reds, Mo Salah should be back for next weekend’s away game versus Brighton, while Sadio Mané looks like a decent premium pick as well. Diogo Jota has been excellent so far, with 4 goals in 392 Premier League minutes and a very attractive £6.6m price tag, but he does carry benching risk.
Spurs in the lead
For the firs time since August 2014, Tottenham Hotspur are leading the Premier League, courtesy of a 2-0 victory at home against Manchester City. As usual, Heung-Son Min and Harry Kane were once again involved in the goals, with the former scoring the first goal and the latter assisting the second. Despite a difficult set of fixtures coming up, keeping one or either both of these Spurs superstars feels justified at this point. They are simply too clinical right now.
Having said that, the Spurs defence warrants some attention as well. José Mourinho’s men have rather quietly constructed the most reliable defensive unit in the league as well. Spurs have so far conceded 9 goals in 9 games, a tally only matched by Wolves, who are facing Southampton this evening still. The relative problem with Spurs defenders is that they are quite pricey in FPL, but still, the likes of Sergio Reguilón and Toby Alderweireld (if his injury is minor) are worth considering.
Then there is Man City. Looking at the numbers, the Skyblues from Manchester are seemingly a long way off from their title-candidate form of the past years. In 9 games, they have scored just 10 goals and conceded a worrying 11 already, with a more than disappointing 13th place as a result at the time of writing. The heavy prices tags and elevated rotation risk of their fantasy assets is putting a lot of FPL managers off investing in them for the moment, but do note that in the next four games, they are playing Burnley, Fulham and West Brom at home. That might just be what Kevin de Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Aymeric Laporte need to get back to title-challenger ways.
Everton here to stay
OK, it’s still relatively early in the season and the Toffees did just come off three consecutive defeats, but it looks like they will be playing for a European spot this season. With Richarlison and James Rodriguez returning to the starting lineup after some ongoing fitness niggles, Everton booked a 2-3 victory at Craven Cottage. The defence is still not as solid as manager Carlo Ancelotti would like, but offensively, his men are amongst the best in the country.
One of the protagonists in that attack is front man Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who scored his 9th and 10th goal of the Premier League season within half an hour against Fulham. He is already making a mockery of his FPL starting price of £7.0m and at his current price of £7.8m, he is still one of the biggest bargains out there. With the support of Richarlison, James and Doucouré, just to name a few, the young Englishman, he looks to be competing for the Golden Boot this season.
West Ham unusually solid
Compared to the past few seasons, that. With their 0-1 victory over Sheffield United on Sunday, the Hammers booked a second clean sheet in a row and their 4th one for the season. At the same time, they also recorded their fourth victory, which lifted them into 8th place with 14 points from 9 games. Their upcoming schedule is a bit of a mixed bag, but it does feature three home games in the next four, against Aston Villa, Manchester United and Crystal Palace. The away game during that run takes place at Elland Road.