Football

Top 5 Player Matchups for Gameweek 9

Hello! I’m Kieran (@FPLRatchet), and I’m here to share my top 5 picks for Gameweek 9’s Premier League Player Matchups on Fanteam. Let’s get straight into it…

Find my fantasy tips in the Weekly Monster Gameweek 9 Preview.

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1. T. Werner (CHE) vs. M. Rashford (MUN)

My first choice for this week’s Matchups is Timo Werner (CHE), facing Newcastle away.

Werner is starting to score with some regularity now, and having confirmation of his status as penalty taker is a huge point in his favour against Rashford in this Matchup. Hakim Ziyech hitting full fitness seems to have been the catalyst this Chelsea team needed to really kick into gear and fulfil their potential given the talent at their disposal. I fancy Chelsea to hopefully put a few past Newcastle this weekend, given that the hosts are 16th in the table for xGA and looking vulnerable defensively in my opinion.

Whilst Rashford is a good option for this week, I personally don’t think this West Brom game will be as easy as some are making out. Whilst I’m not about to tell you West Brom have a great defence – they have tightened up since their 5-2 hammering by an in-form Everton side in Gameweek 2, demonstrated by keeping Spurs out for over 90 minutes until a header from Harry Kane in stoppage time snatched a point from their grasp. Werner also has the yellow star in this Matchup, meaning that he will win in the event of both players scoring equal points, tipping the scales further in the German’s favour for me.

2. J. Grealish (AVL) vs. J. Rodriguez (EVE)

My next selections for this week’s Matchups is Jack Grealish (AVL), up against Brighton at home.

If you watched the England games over the international break, or recent Villa games for that matter, it shouldn’t take much for me to convince you of how well Grealish is performing at the moment. He’s playing full of confidence, willing to try anything, and is looking as creative and classy as I’ve personally ever seen him. Whilst Brighton are a good side in their own right, they play with an attacking style that can leave them open at the back on the counter, and who better to exploit that space at the back than Jack Grealish?

Whilst the Everton fixture is one that makes me nervous for this Matchup, Rodriguez has played the full 90 minutes in all of his international matches with Columbia over the break, and Carlo Ancelotti mentioned in his press conference about some tiredness in his players returning from South America. This leads me to believe that Rodriguez may not be running at 100% fitness, and could potentially be substituted early for some rest – missing out on the point for playing the full match. Grealish also has the yellow star here for some extra insurance on the pick.

3. R. Jiménez (WOL) vs. O. Watkins (AVL)

My third selection is Ollie Watkins (AVL) facing Brighton at Villa Park.

Similar to how I described Hakim Ziyech for Chelsea, Jack Grealish is offering the creativity to really get this Villa team flowing, and they’ve looked impressive going forward of late. It would be unfair to the rest of the Villa team though to put this all down to Grealish, because in truth I’ve been really impressed with Villa’s summer business on the whole, from Ross Barkley to Matty Cash to our pick here – Ollie Watkins. He’s looking just as threatening in this Villa side as he was for Brentford last season, and he’s also got penalty duty on his side.

Wolves, on the other hand, have struggled going forward so far this season. They’ve almost had four significant losses to their attack from last season – Matt Doherty and Diogo Jota were sold in the summer, Jonny Castro is out with a long term injury, and Adama Traore only seems to have 30 minutes in him for some reason. These losses, as well as defensive tactics, have resulted in Wolves sitting 18th in the table for xG. They simply aren’t creating enough chances. This is forcing Jiménez to drop deeper and deeper to collect the ball, similar to the problem we say with Harry Kane as a fantasy assets in parts of last season. Something needs to change for Jiménez to retain his “postman” nickname, I think.

4. H. M. Son (TOT) vs. A. Lacazette (ARS)

My fourth pick this week is Heung-Min Son (TOT) facing Man City at home.

Despite not scoring in his last few games now, Son has had an outstanding start to the season, and still looks sharp and dangerous whenever he’s on the ball in the opponent’s final third. Whilst Man City are of course a tough opposition, Spurs having the ability to break on the counter attack may play into Son’s hands, he’s deadly in those types of situations, as he demonstrated against Southampton earlier this season…

Lacazette, on the other hand, looks to me like an out of form player in an out of form side in terms of attack. He hasn’t scored since Gameweek 3, and Arsenal have scored just one goal in their last four Premier League games, including a 0-3 loss at home to Aston Villa last time out. Whilst Arteta has shored them up at the back, his tactics of late have been incredibly defensive, meaning Arsenal’s attackers are starved of opportunities, and picking the ball up too far from the opposition goal due to playing with such a deep back five. Son also having the yellow star is very surprising to me, and this is a Matchup I’m really happy with.

5. D. Calvert-Lewin (EVE) vs. P. E. Aubameyang (ARS)

My final selection for Gameweek 9, is Dominic Calvert Lewin (EVE) up against Fulham away from home.

With the news coming from Ancelotti’s press conference that Richarlison is indeed fit after a hard challenge from Edinson Cavani on international duty left him limping off – I think Everton’s prospects improve greatly. They haven’t looked quite the same in the three games since Richarlison’s suspension, so here’s hoping we can see a return to the Everton we saw at the start of the season. Fulham is a great fixture for Calvert-Lewin to improve on his already fantastic goalscoring record this season so far, sitting at 17th in the table for goals conceded.

I discussed with Lacazette the key problems with Arsenal’s attack right now, but there is perhaps nobody being affected as badly by this lack of chances as Aubameyang. It may alarm you to learn that his penalty against Man United was his only shot on target in the last four games. For someone as prolific as Aubameyang is, to not have had a shot on target from open play in the last four games is just mind-blowing – and I think makes him a complete no-go fantasy wise until something changes significantly.

As always, good luck!

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