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Week 9: Fixture preview

A few thoughts on the weeks games and those players who may shine.

Will the Jose/Conte game thrill or not on Sunday
Will the Jose/Conte game thrill or not on Sunday
Getty Images/Getty Images

Week 9 sees a week where we have some very strong sides facing games where you may be tempted to load up on them.

Arsenal v Middleborough

Arsenal come into this on a run of 7 straight victories in all competitions and face a Boro side who look to be finding the step up In class this season very tough.  Arsenal can find it awkward to get going In games post Europe but It looks a couple goal win for the home team.

Theo Walcott is on fire and has been picked up by many managers.  Alexis Sanchez is a must this week.  Elsewhere you can make a case for any of the Gunners starting 11 bar maybe whoever plays holding midfield alongside Cazorla.    For those of you playing Togga picking 10 gunners could work.

Most will have Theo/Alexis and Mustafi so the search for an alternative Gunners pick is interesting.  In FPL they are all perhaps too pricy bar Petr Cech.  In Fantrax Cazorla, Ozil and Iwobi/Ox are worth a look.  Iwobi/Ox in particular as he is super cheap due to some poor scores.

Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion.

The reds won't blank back to back weeks and with the likely return to the Mane, Firmino Coutinho front three and Adam Lallana pulling the strings in behind you ideally want coverage this week.

WBA will be tough to break down and it maybe a 2-0 type game rather than a 4 goal win.  As always with pool it's a complete guessing game to find this week's scorer.  With WBA likely to sit deep and Coutinhos preference to shoot from distance, I will go with him.

Manchester City v Southampton

The Saint couldn't ask for better form to head into what maybe the toughest away game in the league.   Normally I'd say respect the form but I think Southampton's trip to Inter Milan on Thursday may take more out of them physically than City's trip to Barcelona.

Having said that all is not perfect at City.  Pep has a reputation of asking much of his players and for some more than they can cope with.  He had some words of advice for Kun after a poor couple games for Argentina last week, confirming that he had told Aguero to study an unnamed striker in order to adapt his game.  He then proceeded to rest him against Everton then bench him for tactical reasons against Barcelona.  Pep said he took the Barca call well but Kun then didn't warm up pre match for the game.

For the first time I remember Kun is not 100% certain to start any game.  Whether I am bold enough to drop Kun in Fantrax I don't yet know.  He has a habit of scoring braces or more whenever I drop him.

West Ham United v Sunderland

Two sides out of form and one who is dreadful.  I see a happy Hammers performance and a win by a couple of goals.

Payet is a must, there can hardly be a better game for Zaza to open his goal scoring account but its Micheal Antonio that holds my thoughts.  I have already sold him in Fantrax after three poor weeks in a row.  The move to right wing back isn't ideal and I need to decide whether I give him one more week in FPL.

Burnley v Everton

A tight and scrappy game for me.  If you hold Lukaku I would play him.  Elsewhere Oviedo may play left back again but there are few fantasy options I like.  With chief creator Defour missing the game injured a possible Everton clean sheet increases.

Hull City v Stoke

Hull are really looking the side we expected at the start of the season.  Giving up so many chances and looking pretty flat coming forward they have had three heavy defeats in recent games.  Michael Dawson may be fit to play which should help.

Meanwhile Stoke, with a draw at Old Trafford and an opening win of the season over Sunderland last week means things are looking better for the Stokies.

Wilfred Bony must score at some time, while both Marko A and Shaqiri are looking sharper and shaper, one or more of them score here.

Robert Snodgrass has a shocker last week but he will likely return double digits this week.  Ryan Mason has scored well since settling in to the side and is a great filler this week.

Swansea v Watford

I'm convinced Bob Bradley will do a good job and I think he gets a win in this one despite Watfords decent efforts.  I can see Swans exploiting the huge holes Watford leave when pushing forward.

Siggy is the obvious pick and the price is ok.  Fer has the numbers than suggest a goal is due.  Meanwhile Holebas was a monster last week and was picked up by many on the barn door.

Bournemouth v Tottenham

The Cherries are flying at home while Spurs are the only unbeaten side in the league.  Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose are doubts in the spurs defence and if confirmed out those of you who picked up Junior Stanislas/Callum Wilson will be happy.

Harry Kane won't make this one and it is debatable how Tottenham will line up.  Son seems sure to start and think he will enjoy much more space than he did in the cameo against WBA last week.

Chelsea v Manchester United.

I share the Ryan Giggs view on the Liverpool/Man Utd bore draw on Monday.  The draw was ok as long as they win the Europa Cup game tonight and follow up with a win at Stamford Bridge.  The thing is, there is little evidence to suggest Utd can get that second win.

Zlatan has started to miss chances and won't get many in this game.  Behind him Marcus Rashford is far less effective in a wide role while Paul Pogba continues to try hard but by doing so fail to play the game simple.

At Chelsea Diego Costa maybe in the best form of his career and Eden Hazard is a handful.  Both are great fantasy picks this week.

Leicester City v C Palace

The foxes have been solid at home in the league and with no midweek European football can line up with their best 11 here.  Both sides excel on the counter attack and as such we could see them cancel each other out in this game.

Rihad Mahrez is due a big fantasy day and his twinkle toes and he could be the match winner.  Slimani is a great price for the bold fantasy managers out there dropping Kun.   Finally Benteke is still getting chances in games.

I had my first rubbish week of the season in FPL in week 8.  I woke on Saturday morning intending to sell Townsend/Bony and but Theo/Wilson.  Not doing so stopped me breaking into the global top 5k.  I just wanted Stoke coverage v Sunderland and had a gut feeling on Townsend.  I could make those changes this week but it feels a little points chasing.  Maybe I will maybe I will out think myself again.

In Fantrax I caught Theos 20pt game and Granst CS and win but bar them it was disappointing.  I seem to be someone who looks for any reason to drop Kun.  Not sure why as I do think he is the league sno1 player.  The tough game against Saints and concerns on the relationship with the manager right now has me at it again.  I think he will start and if he starts he normally scores.  I doubt I sell him but it opens up some funds for me if I do.

How are you plans looking for week 9.  How do you see the weeks matchups?