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Week 9 Premier League Preview: New managers, old favourites and alternative picks

The Premier League has only been away one week and we have plenty of talking points emerge. We'd love to hear your take on 5 questions heading into Week 9.

Can the normal one win the league title pool fans dream of?
Can the normal one win the league title pool fans dream of?
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
  1. Will new manager syndrome mean Liverpool players will hold increased fantasy value this week?

We have seen the positive impact of a new manager to a team's performance many a time.  Players lacking direction/motivation suddenly are transformed as the new boss converts them into a side unrecognisable from the side lacking in recent times.

This time around it's Jürgen Klopp who has his first game as Liverpool boss.  Having said that, a trip to White Hart Lane and Tottenham isn't the easiest way to start.  Spurs are unbeaten in 6 league games and have conceded just once in front of their own fans in 3 games.

The impressive home form includes the 4-1 win over Manchester City.   Despite Harry Kane yet to capture last season's form Spurs at Home are becoming tough to beat.

Liverpool have played a sequence of tough away games.  An opening day win at Stoke City was followed by a draw at Arsenal, defeat at Manchester United and a draw at Everton.   Pretty sure they would have taken that at the start of the season.

You have to fancy a bright start from Liverpool and it will be very interesting to see how Klopp line's the players available to him up.

I'm on the watching brief this week.  But if you hold Daniel Sturridge at discount on Fantrax you may wish to run with him in week 9.  Philippe Coutinho was ruled out of international duty this week making him a doubt and a player likely to be subbed early but again discounts can be hard to lose

Perhaps Firmino could be the under the radar option.   Klopp knows his game well and he is very cheap.

  1. With question 1 in mind, how about the influence of Big Sam in Sunderland's game at West Bromwich Albion?

In what may be Sam's biggest challenge yet he has become Sunderland manager.  The black cats start with a trip to very tough WBA.  Not the ideal game for immediate impact.

Looking at the Sunderland situation whether it works or not, they have finally appointed the right manager for the job on paper.  Sam knows just how to organise a side to avoid the drop and should the job be too big this season he is the perfect manager to get them promoted next season.  He is an extremely experience EPL manager and has shown the ability to manage both British and overseas players while moulding them into decent sides.

The first job needed is to organise the shape and decision processes of the defensive side of the team. They have been horrific so far but I suspect even in game one we will see a better effort in that regard.

From a fantasy view the Sunderland players will take the form of fillers in my sides for now.   Over the next few weeks the form of Jermain Defoe, Adam Johnson perhaps Sebastian Larsson and in particular a fantasy favourite of mine Patrick Van Aanholt are worth considering.

  1. Hosting Aston Villa can Chelsea's fantasy favourites finally perform?

Surely the champ's will find their mojo at some point right?  The perfect fixture as always for Jose would be Arsenal but even a win over his arch nemesis didn't spike their performances in this run of form.

Villa are in trouble.  Coming into a very tough run of games they look full of doubt, few goals and unsure defending.  Tim Sherwood's decision to raid League 1 in France isn't looking the smart value move they hoped.

Normal business would see us load up with Chelsea defence and attack but this is no ordinary period for Chelsea or Jose for that matter.  A number of off the field issues have caused distraction while on the field performances have been as flat as we have seen under the manager.

Many will wait until there are signs of Chelsea life before investing in their team.  Me, well I think this is the right fixture at the right time.  I'm not sure quite yet where I will look to invest but there will be two or three representatives from the Blues in my sides this week.

  1. With Bayern Munich on the horizon, will Arsenal rest Alexis Sanchez against Watford and is he the best bet anyway?

Despite carrying a minor injury Sanchez played and was a star again against Brazil over the weekend.  Further may play again in Peru midweek.

The volume of games and lack of a rest is going to catch up with the Gunners star man at some point.  The club need him fit and firing both in all the big games but in particular the league run in.

Away to Watford will be very different to their home win over United.  The Hornets will not allow anywhere near the space in behind and very little at all in front of their back line that Manchester United did (what on earth tactics were those tactics by LVG).   If Watford can hold out early it could become a testing game for Arsenal.

Unlike many a modern player Alexis is known for not taking well to being rested.  But with Bayern being must win territory midweek and with those nagging injury concerns it may be the time to give him a break.  What do you think?

This feels like a game for the players who dig out games to me, perhaps Santi Cazorla, maybe Aaron Ramsey who is due or even after his two goal haul for France Olivier Giroud's aerial ability against a deep lying Watford defence.

  1. Name us your alternative pick this week?

We have started to see the return of the big guns in recent weeks with Sanchez and Kun exploding back to life while Eden Hazard, Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney have got back into the goals.

Maybe it's time for those B+ players to star.  Could Aaron Ramsey, Siggy or Cesc Fabregas return to the 20pt games in Fantrax?  I certainly am tempted by all of them.

I also quite like the idea of a Newcastle win this week and I certainly like them to score against a Norwich backline that does leak chances.

What players does your gut tell you will have a big game that just a little different?