I smell a goal from a Spanish man,
Sweetly struck, it will be said
He will be my Fantasy head.
And that aberration of a classic should give you a clue as to who I will captain for Gameweek 9, but if you crave more do read on for captain picks, heavy hitters, clean sheets, punts, and the big ol’ rumbling gut.
1. Michu: His two shots and zero key passes last Gameweek resulted in zero Fantasy contribution in Swansea’s demolition of Sunderland. A disappointment, but given his past performances, both last season and this one, we chalk that day as a singularity. Swansea welcome West Ham to Wales and should score, given they put the ball in the net in every home game this season including against Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool.
2. Suarez: Since coming back from his ban Suarez has three goals, two assists, and five bonus points in three games. Sitting at an average of almost ten Fantasy points per match is a result of easy fixtures against Sunderland, Crystal Palace, and Newcastle, but Suarez has shown he scores against the big boys too so he is as fixture proof as a Fantasy pick can be. He’s a strong pick for captain every week, and a home game against West Brom should not deter you.
3. Özil: Given the risk that Giroud will be rested, Özil slots into the captain picks against the worst team in the Premier League. Holloway’s departure could have a positive effect on struggling Crystal Palace, but it could just as well cause further distress to a Palace team that looks destined for the drop. Arsenal have five wins in the last six games, largely thanks to Özil’s excellent performances. His two goals and three assists in five games are no fluke, as his 1.6 shots and 3.8 key passes per game attest to.
Our patience with Soldado paid of last Gameweek as one of our punts. He created three chances and completed the highest amount of final third passes as he returned 12 Fantasy points with a goal, an assist, and three bonus points. Tottenham’s home game against Hull City is the perfect follow-up game and provides Soldado the perfect fixture to extend his scoring run.
As highlighted in last Gameweek’s Weekend Notes, Van Persie’s five goal attempts compare favourably to Rooney’s two. The Dutchman is back on track and will return his share of goals this season. The only question is whether he is value for money, currently priced at £13.9.
Eden Hazard is back in operation in Mourinho’s new Chelsea setup, as noted in last Gameweek’s Mid-Week Round Up. He’s an intriguing purchase given his price drop of £0.5 and was immense in Chelsea’s win against Cardiff. He delivered two goals, an assist, and three bonus points from three shots on target, five key passes, four dribbles, and a single cross. Chelsea welcome a Kompany-less Manchester City to Stamford Bridge, a game Hazard could easily decide.
Aston Villa against Everton will be labeled as the battle of the strikers with Benteke returning to action for Villa against Everton’s Lukaku. Both are covered in this Gameweek’s Watchlist and are focal points for their respective teams, providing technique, finishing, and strength in abundance.
You can take your pick of high-flying Arsenal players against a manager-free Crystal Palace team as they will dominate proceedings. Ramsey is the popular pick but a valid differential is Wilshere, as pointed out in this week’s Differentials.
Southampton defenders the fashion choice at the moment, and for a good reason. Pochettino has combined an admirable work ethic with sound defensive organization. We’re always inclined to pick the cheapest link in defences, in this case Boruc and Clyne as they should keep it tight at home against Fulham.
Despite West Ham’s impressive showing against Tottenham, their striker-less system shouldn’t cause Swansea much problems, despite the loss of Williams. Swansea will dominate possession, giving Chico more chances to get in the box, both in corners and in set pieces.
Tottenham have arguably the best defensive setup in the Premier League and should restrict Hull City to shots from distance. With Naughton back on the bench due to Chiriches’s introduction, Dawson is again the cheapest link at £5.2.
This Gameweek’s Flying Under the Radar focused on Norwich’s Snodgrass. In the last four fixtures he has eleven goal attempts and has created eight chances from 76 attempted final third passed. Add to that 34 attempted crosses and set-piece duty and the Scottish international looks a great outside with Norwich’s improved fixtures, including home games against Cardiff, West Ham, and Crystal Palace in the next six outings.
Perhaps Poyet will eventually turn Sunderland around, but the first game under his tutelage was a mess. Highlighted in this week’s Market Mechanics, Remy has a great chance to add to his already impressive goal tally this season.
If Mourinho gets Chelsea playing his game it’s hard to argue that they are strong favorites for the title. All the more if he has managed to get Torres up and running again. Mourinho praised his performance after his brace against Schalke which should ensure his starting spot against Manchester City.
BIG OL’ RUMBLING GUT PICK
Playing for arguably the team in the worst form, with only one game under his belt, in a new system not fully implemented by a new manager still say Steven Fletcher will score against Newcastle. Preferably with a header.