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Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 9

FPL is here and it’s a day early so ensure your team doesn’t get caught out!

Prithviraj Dev | New Delhi |

As the Premier League weekend nears, Fantasy Premier League (FPL) looms large and Gameweek 9 is sure to have a few surprises in store for all the wannabe Pep Guardiolas.

For the English top-flight is as predictable as the nation’s weather and predicting outcomes is a nigh-impossible task.

To ease your FPL selection dilemmas, The Statesman is at hand for an exhaustive piece on who to pick for the upcoming gameweek.

The indicators are:

Teams in BOLD are top 4 contenders.

Prices marked in Green indicates a rise in Base Price.
Prices marked in Red indicates fall in Base Price.


Jack Butland

Team: Stoke City
Fixtures: Bournemouth (H), Watford (A), Leicester (H), Brighton (A) and Crystal Palace (A)
Price: 5.0
Score: 22
Ownership: 3.4%

Why yes: Yes, Stoke conceded seven against Man City, but Bournemouth are nowhere near the Citizens’ level. No team in the Premier League is and Stoke showed plenty of fight. Their upcoming fixtures look easy on paper at least.

Why no: Under Mark Hughes, the Potters are moving away from their intimidating, defensive style of football and while it makes for fun viewing, clean sheets won’t come easily. Southampton’s Fraser Forster is arguably a better option in this price range.

Premier League, Jack Butland, Stoke City FC
Touted as England’s next No.1, Butland has a bright future ahead of him! (Photo: AFP



Cedric Soares

Team: Southampton
Fixtures: West Brom (H), Brighton (A), Burnley (H), Liverpool (A) and Everton (H).
Price: 5.0
Score: 24
Ownership: 9.1%

Why yes: The Saints’ next three fixtures look pretty straightforward and they should be able to. Cedric is yet to register an assist or goal this season but it seems the goal-shy Saints finally seem to have overcome their stuttering form up top and it’s a good time to buy the dependable left-back. The Portuguese is the cheapest confirmed starter in the Southampton backline.

Why no: Fraser Forster (goalkeeper) is a good bet as well, as are the other Southampton defenders. Ryan Bertrand may be more expensive, but is much more accomplished going forward.

Cedric Soares, Southampton FC, Premier League
The 26-year-old Portuguese is an unspectacular but solid fullback! (Photo: Facebook)


Nicolas Otamendi

Team: Manchester City
Fixtures: Burnley (H), West Brom (A), Arsenal (H), Leicester (A) and Huddersfield (A)
Price: 5.7
Score: 40
Ownership: 15.7%

Why yes: Considering Vincent Kompany is out of action for the foreseeable future, Otamendi is a virtual guarantee to start. City are in sensational form and if possible, you should have three of their players in your FPL team. The Argentine is a danger on set-pieces and the Sky Blues have relatively easy fixtures, as a bonus.

Why no: Their defence has improved considerably, but as proved by Stoke last weekend, are not quite impenetrable. Otamendi is a bit rash and likely to accumulate cards. Avoid if you already have keeper Ederson or another City defender in your side.

Premier League, Nicolas Otamendi, Manchester City FC
The tough-tackling centre-back receives plenty of yellow cards! (Photo: Twitter)



Raheem Sterling

Team: Manchester City
Fixtures: Burnley (H), West Brom (A), Arsenal (H), Leicester (A) and Huddersfield (A)
Price: 8.1
Score: 50
Ownership: 12.3%

Why yes: If you had to pick only one City player for your team, it’s Raheem Sterling. The fleet-footed winger is on fire and at his price (the lowest among City’s offensive options), represents excellent value. Buy him even if you have Gabriel Jesus (forward) or another City midfielder.

Why no: Sterling has been playing a lot of football and knowing Pep Guardiola’s propensity towards squad rotation, may be rested against Burnley.

Raheem Sterling, Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Manchester City FC
Sterling, along with several other City players, is in an unstoppable mood at the moment! (Photo: AFP)


Xherdan Shaqiri

Team: Stoke City
Fixtures: Bournemouth (H), Watford (A), Leicester (H), Brighton (A) and Crystal Palace (A)
Price: 6.0
Score: 27
Ownership: 4.8%

Why yes: This week’s wildcard pick, Shaqiri continues to impress intermittently and the stocky winger was a constant nuisance against City as well. Bournemouth are struggling and Stoke should be able to rebound in style against them, especially if one considers the attacking talents they have at their disposal.

Why no: Intermittently being the key word, for Shaqiri has always struggled to shake of that inconsistent tag. Teammate Jese, who is marginally cheaper, is worth a look at as well.

Xherdan Shaqiri, Premier League, Stoke City FC
Shaqiri (R) is always a threat due to his pace and powerful long-range shots! (Photo: AFP)



Javier Hernandez aka Chicharito

Team: West Ham United
Fixtures: Brighton (H), Crystal Palace (A), Liverpool (H), Watford (A) and Leicester (H)
Price: 7.0
Score: 29
Ownership: 17.6%

Why yes: With Andy Caroll suspended, expect Chicharito to thrive as the Mexican seemed to be struggling in a two-forward system. Brighton have been poor on the road this season and have kept just one clean-sheet in four games. On the whole, the Hammers have light fixtures ahead.

Why no: So far, West Ham have been unable to string together a favourable run of results. Their offensive play is not exactly cohesive and while Chicharito is a poacher, every forward thrives on quality support.

Please note: Chicharito has a 75% chance of playing this weekend’s fixture due to a hamstring injury he picked up on Tuesday.

Premier League, West Ham United FC, Premier League, Javier Hernandez, Chicharito
The ‘Little Pea’ needs only a half-chance to score! (Photo: Facebook)


Alvaro Morata

Team: Chelsea
Fixtures: Watford (H), Bournemouth (A), Man United (H), West Brom (A) and Liverpool (A)
Price: 10.2
Score: 49
Ownership: 13.2%

Why yes: Chelsea can’t win their third game in a row, can they? Morata is back after a brief spell on the sidelines with a hamstring complaint and looked sharp in the Blues’ 3-3 draw with Roma in mid-week. Expect him to pick up where he left off in the coming weeks.

Why no: Watford are fourth and no longer will be relegation candidates. They will be well organised and a goal-rush is unlikely to be witnessed. Chelsea aren’t in great form. Blues winger Eden Hazard is a worthwhile option. Some of their upcoming fixtures will be gruelling tests.

Alvaro Morata, Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Premier League
Morata is excellent in the air but is dual-footed as well! (Photo: AFP)


PS: The Gameweek deadline is Friday, 1900 GMT/2330 IST.