FPL Team Weekly: Gameweek 9
Last week we stuttered our way to a disappointing total of 38 points, one below the average for Gameweek 8, though as ever with FPL; the points total tells only a fraction of the story. Our captain choice of Aguero yielded a negative return of -2 following his missed penalty having emerged from the bench, and Christian Benteke also returned a minus score of -1 as he also missed his spot kick during Palace’s home-defeat to a resurgent West Ham United. It was only Theo Walcott (13 points), Callum Wilson (9 points), Alexis Sanchez (5 points) and Adam Smith (5) points who really contributed for us, and we were left to rue what might have been.
Still, FPL doesn’t reward retrospective introspection in the same way it does forward-planning, so let’s press on to Gameweek 9, where we’re deploying a 3-5-2 formation.
Grant (4.0m) – With Jack Butland still convalescing, and Stoke having conceded just one goal in their last two matches – this budget choice goalkeeper is a straightforward pick for us for Stokes away trip to Hull City, who are now in freefall.
Lovren (4.9m) – We were keen to treble-up on both Liverpool & Arsenal this week because of their form & fixtures (home to West Brom and Middlesbrough respectively). With Liverpool’s shutout against Man United on ‘Red Monday’ and with Lovren’s value still being under £5.0m, this is our preferred route into the Merseyside’s back-line.
Coleman (5.5m) – Everton’s wing-back represents a great potential avenue for defensive and offensive points this Gameweek with their trip to Burnley. Everton have been defending well under the guidance of Ronald Koeman, and we think the Irishman can benefit from that Solidity this time around whilst looking good for a potential attacking return, too.
Koscielny (6.2m) – Arsenal’s first-choice defensive centre-back will fancy his chances of getting another clean sheet this week as Arsenal welcome Middlesbrough to the Emirates. With two scores in double figures already this season, he’s also a threat from set-plays and is an easy pick for us this week.
Walcott (7.8m) – Theo Walcott has played over 70 minutes in every Gameweek for the Gunners, completing 90 minutes in six of the eight games thus far. He’s scored 5 points or above six times already, and notched an impressive 13 points last time out during the Londoner’s victory over Swansea City. At less than 8.0m, he’s a great choice this week to continue his offensive returns.
Sanchez (C) (11.3m) – The Chilean maestro continues to play as a forward for Arsenal, is absolutely explosive, has been playing fantastically well for a prolonged period of time, has no fitness concerns, and has a home game against Middlesbrough (who haven’t won since August) this weekend. He’s a standout pick, and is our captain this Gameweek.
Firmino (8.5m) – Despite no offensive returns for Liverpool during the last game of Gameweek 8 against Man United, we believe that Firmino is a great choice for this Gameweek. He’s heavily involved in the majority of their attacking play, and with a home fixture against West Brom (who will be without the suspended Jonny Evans); we think the Brazilian has a great chance of notching offensive returns this weekend.
Coutinho (8.3m) – Much like the aforementioned Firmino, we’ve opted for his compatriot in midfield this week. Coutinho’s willingness to shoot from all angles means he’s always a threat, and should get chances to increase his goal/assist tallies this weekend. Mané was heavily, heavily considered, but his higher valuation meant he missed out this time.
Allen (4.9m) – Joe Allen’s form simply can’t be ignored. He’s returned scores of 11, 8 and 16 in his last three outings for the Potters, and with their trip to Hull City (who have just shipped six on the road at AFC Bournemouth) – he’s every chance of continuing that this time out. At under £5.0m, he is also a true enabler.
Aguero (VC) (£13.1m) – Despite a missed penalty during a cameo in the last game for the Argentine, despite Man City losing heavily in midweek away at Barcelona, and despite Guardiola’s side playing a tight-outfit in Southampton this weekend – it’s Sergio Aguero. He remains an FPL must-have, albeit we have decided that he doesn’t warrant the captaincy this weekend.
Lukaku (9.5m) – With six goals in his last six Premier League games, including a hat-trick on the road in Gameweek 4; Lukaku remains a top offensive pick, and we see no reason to discount him for Everton’s trip to Burnley this weekend
Pickford (4.0m) – Shouldn’t be required, but despite Sunderland’s woeful start to the season, he’s been in great form and has a decent enough fixture away at West Ham this weekend.
Barrow (5.0m) – Although Swansea has lost four on the spin in the league, they’ve been playing well enough and look a threat offensively. Should he be needed, we think Barrow represents a potential slightly left-field route to points this weekend in Bradley’s first game in charge at the Liberty stadium.
Pieters (£4.4m) – A great display in Gameweek eight, which saw him net a clean-sheet, have a couple of chances and pick up a couple of bonus points – he’s unlucky not to start this weekend. A great first choice defensive substitute though, we just didn’t want to double-up Stokes still potentially porous defence.
Amat (£4.1m) – At just £4.1m, Amat represents true value. He seems to have kept his spot for his new manager, and if he is needed, a home game to Watford isn’t horrible.
There was a lot of debate this week, with several names in the mix. We all liked Gylfi Sigurdsson but just couldn’t find a route into the packed midfield – he’s unlucky to miss out. Dele Alli was also mentioned, as was Dimitri Payet, Charlie Austin and Troy Deeney from an offensive perspective. As already mentioned, Sadio Mané also came close, and James Milner was also considered, as was Karius in goal, but we’re happy with the Liverpool trio we have selected. We also looked at Vertonghen, but with Alderweireld a doubt and Bournemouth scoring freely – he missed out this time. Fuchs was also looked at, but we decided that Coleman represented a better option for defensive returns this week.
As ever – very best of luck for Gameweek 9; may all your arrows be forever green!
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