The (unnecessary) international break is finally over and while some have enjoyed the time away from obsessing over their teams we couldn’t be more excited to be back! This week’s GW preview takes a deeper look into all the things you might have missed or forgotten over the last two weeks to ensure you hit the ground running - let’s go!
The FPL community has been in a state of dismay these past two weeks as updates on covid tests and injuries have flooded both the news feed and everyone’s my team page. Many have already locked in their transfers in hopes of beating the price changes but if you’re not one of them you probably want to wait with your transfer decisions until just before the deadline as more player information becomes available.
In this weekly preview, we’ve prepared a breakdown of each team’s current status to help you navigate the last two weeks a little easier.
Note: Injury status, ownership percentages, and prices were all correct at the time of writing but we’ll try to keep them updated as we edge closer to the deadline.
Arsenal and Arteta have to get back to winning ways after their 0-3 loss to Aston Villa just before the international break.
Their star players haven’t delivered with Lacazette failing to provide a goal or an assist for five straight GW’s which is only outdone by Willian who has blanked for seven straight GW’s since his impressive debut against Fulham. Last year’s FPL darling and Arsenal top scorer Aubameyang only has a single goal in his last six games.
Willian might have to return a negative covid test before he can train after traveling to Dubai. We’re still predicting him to start.
Leeds (A), Wolves (H), Tottenham (A)
Villa has had an impressive start to the season despite their recent losses to Southampton and Leeds. They have played a game less than most of the other teams but have still managed five wins (only Leicester has more with six), 18 goals (only Chelsea (20) and Tottenham (19) have more), and 4 clean sheets (joint-most with Wolves and Southampton) making them hard to ignore.
Brighton (H), West Ham (A), Newcastle (H)
Brighton has had a shaky start to the season and currently sits 16th in the table despite creating plenty of chances and at times playing some entertaining football. We’ll have to wait and see if they can start scoring goals instead of just hitting the woodwork (Hi Trossard...).
Lamptey remains Brighton’s most obvious FPL asset based on price (4.7), ownership (12.6%), and the fact that he’s somehow always in the opposition’s box which has seen him return 1 goal and 3 assists this season.
Trossard might not be ready according to Graham Potter.
Aston Villa (A), Liverpool (H), Southampton (H)
It’s hard to say something exciting about a team whose biggest summer signing was Dale Stephens. They are currently 19th in the league and have yet to win a PL game this season which has made them one of the bookies’ favorites for relegation. However, it’s still not too late for Sean Dyche to work his magic again but with Pope rising in price (5.4) and their defense still not delivering the performances that we’ve come to expect from them then managers are better off looking elsewhere.
Dale Stephens could be out according to Sean Dyche
Crystal Palace (H), Manchester City (A), Everton (H)
Chelsea is very much in-form at the moment with 10 goals in their last four games and with a nice run of fixtures coming up it could be time to consider who to add to your roster. Werner has 4 goals in as many games and has been given penalty duty by Lampard making him an obvious candidate. If you are looking for other options, however, Ziyech might be worth a punt after providing 1 goal and 3 assists in his first two starts.
Chelsea has also made big improvements in their defense in recent weeks with 2 clean sheets in their last 3 games after deciding on a back four consisting of Mendy, Chilwell, Zouma, Thiago Silva, and James. They have all impressed upfront but especially Chilwell has hit the ground running with 2 goals and 2 assists in his first five games for the blues.
Pulisic and Havertz are confirmed out
Newcastle (A), Tottenham (H), Leeds (H)
Palace hadn’t scored many goals this season before traveling to Leeds and slotting home four. We don’t expect them to return those exact numbers week in and week out but given their easy program it might be a sign of better things to come. Zaha somehow only managed an assist in that game against Leeds but he remains their most enticing player with 2 goals and 2 assists in his last four games.
No major news apart from perhaps Mitchell who is ruled out
Burnley (A), Newcastle (H), West Brom (A)
The Toffees won’t win any awards for clean sheets this season but with the (potential?) return of Richarlison and a fully fit James Rodriguez it might be time to jump back on the Calvert-Lewin train as he looks to add to his goal tally (8) and distance himself from his competitors at the top of the goalscoring charts. Everton’s next few fixtures should also be encouraging if you’re still not convinced.
Richarlison had an injury scare but reports suggest he should be back - we're backing it.
Fulham (A), Leeds (H), Burnley (A)
Fulham is one of the bookies’ current relegation favorites after only winning a single game this season - something which their upcoming program probably won’t change…
Mitrovic was poised to be their main man this season but the team is not creating enough chances for him to hit the numbers he did in the Championship. One silver lining, however, is the addition of Lookman who has looked dangerous since making his debut in GW5 where only Salah and Bruno Fernandes have attempted more shots than him - we won’t mention his penalty against West Ham.
Nothing major confirmed.
Everton (H), Leicester (A), Manchester City (A)
If you haven’t checked the Premier League table recently it might come as a surprise that Leeds is currently sat all the way down in 15th place despite playing some of the most entertaining (Bielsa) football this season.
Patrick Bamford's recent performances have somehow overshadowed back to back (4-1) losses against both Crystal Palace and Leicester - and we’re not surprised. The Leeds frontman has already scored 7 goals and provided 2 assists this season and he seems to be consistent across all types of fixtures which could come in handy for the 35% who currently own him as Leeds take on Arsenal, Everton, and Chelsea in their next three games.
If you’re looking for a different option from Bielsa's team then look no further than Jack Harrison who has created the second most chances in the league over the last four GW’s.
Arsenal (H), Everton (A), Chelsea (A)
Leicester is currently at the top of the league after three impressive wins against Arsenal, Leeds, and Wolves. They travel to Anfield next where Vardy will look to take advantage of Liverpool’s weakened defense and add to his existing 8 goals and 2 assists.
Regardless of what happens in their next game, Leicester still has one of the best programs in the league and with most of their key players set to return from injury Brendan Rodgers - and all FPL managers - will have to make some critical decisions on what to do with Barnes, Tielemans, Castagne, Justin, and Maddison.
Nothing major confirmed.
Liverpool (A), Fulham (H), Sheffield (A)
Liverpool’s defense has suffered more injuries during the international break and at the same time, Salah has returned another positive covid test meaning he will miss their upcoming game against Leicester and potentially the next two as well.
Klopp and Liverpool’s impressive home record will certainly come under pressure against an in-form Leicester team trying to take advantage of their current state. If we look beyond this week’s game, Liverpool has a pretty decent set of fixtures against Brighton, Wolves, and Fulham which they can still beat comfortably despite being without many of their key players. If anyone is looking to back Liverpool despite their injury woes Mané should be your player of choice - he also has an impressive home record against Leicester with 3 goals and 3 assists…
If Salah is confirmed to be out for a longer period Jota could also be ready to step up and continue his impressive form for Liverpool.
Gomez might miss the rest of the season. Nothing has been confirmed about Trent’s injury but luckily Robertson has been given the all-clear.
Leicester (H), Brighton (A), Wolves (H)
Manchester City are the bookies’ title favorites despite currently sitting 10th in the table and only scoring 5 goals in their last five games. Guardiola has had to deal with a string of injuries to his star players which could explain their recent dip in form - but the return of De Bruyne and Jesus (and soon Agüero) could potentially catapult them back to the top.
From an FPL perspective, City’s upcoming fixtures are all over the place. Their next three home games are against Burnley, Fulham, and West Brom whereas their away games are against Tottenham, United, and Southampton. The main worry in this regard is whether Pep will opt to rotate his star players against the weaker home opponents as the fixture schedule gets increasingly congested during the winter period (13 games in a little over 40 days…).
If that doesn’t scare you then you should look towards Cancelo, de Bruyne, and Jesus to deliver the points. Cancelo has had the most key passes of any defender since GW5 and has gotten a lot of appraisal from Guardiola recently. De Bruyne has only played five full games this season but still managed 1 goal and 3 assists and Jesus has only played two full games both of which he scored.
Sterling had an injury scare but nothing is confirmed.
Tottenham (A), Burnley (H), Fulham (H)
United are expected to break their winless streak at home when they face off against West Brom at Old Trafford. Bilic's side has yet to win a game on the road and has also conceded the joint-most goals this season (17).
United is currently 14th in the league (with a game in hand) which has sparked rumors about Ole’s future at the wheel. In his defense, United has managed to score 7 times over the last four GW’s, which is only beaten by Chelsea (10) and Southampton (11). In the same period, United are the team with the most shots (63) in the league and they are also second for shots on target (23) - if they can continue this form in their upcoming fixtures their players could be worth investing in.
In this regard, Bruno Fernandes remains their most enticing player. The midfielder has 3 goals and 2 assists in his last four games and in the same period he’s attempted 15 shots which no other midfielder in the league can match. Maguire is another option (hear us out) - the center back has 1 goal, 7 shots, and 2 shots on target in his last 5 games whilst also bagging a clean sheet. The bookies have United as this week's favorites to keep a clean sheet (52%) and Maguire himself tops the charts for the most dangerous defender in terms of goal-threat.
Rashford expected to start despite news on a potential shoulder injury.
West Brom (H), Southampton (A), West Ham (A)
What can even be said about Newcastle this season? They have beaten West Ham, Burnley, and Everton and managed to hold both Tottenham and Wolves to a draw on the road. They have also lost 3-0 to Brighton at home...
At this point, Wilson (if fit) might be their most interesting asset with 5 goals and 2 assist in his last six games - and he’s on penalties which often seem like their go-to strategy for goals...
Wilson could be out but nothing is confirmed yet.
Chelsea (H), Crystal Palace (A), Aston Villa (A)
Sheffield United hasn’t found the winning recipe that let them to an impressive 6th place finish last season. They currently sit at the bottom of the league table with a single point having only scored 4 goals whilst conceding 14. Where’s Lord Lundstram when you need him?
Nothing major confirmed.
West Ham (H), West Brom (A), Leicester (H)
Southampton has impressed in recent weeks with five wins in six and 14 goals in the same period. Most of those games, however, have featured Danny Ings who unfortunately picked up a knee injury against Aston Villa. Despite this, Hasenhüttl’s men still managed to score twice against Newcastle without their main talisman thanks in part to Che Adams who is finally starting to live up to his impressive underlying stats with 3 goals and 2 assists in his last four games.
Nothing major confirmed.
Wolves (A), Manchester United (H), Brighton (A)
Spurs fixtures are on the turn as they face off against City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Leicester in their next 5 games and many are pondering what to do with Son and Kane to free up space for other candidates. The duo has been the top-scoring FPL assets this season by some distance but Son’s stats have stagnated in recent weeks with 2 blanks in a row whereas Kane has continued his form with 6 goals and 3 assists in his last five.
So should you sell? It depends on how the rest of your team are looking - especially given all the latest injury and covid news on players returning from international duty.
Kane and Son can both perform against bigger sides so there’s no immediate rush to sell them or take unnecessary hits but obviously, there are alternatives with both form and fixtures on their side in that premium price bracket.
Doherty is out.
Manchester City (H), Chelsea (A), Arsenal (H)
West Brom is currently the bookies' favorites to be relegated this season after a poor start to their campaign. Slaven Bilic's men haven't won any games this season and have lost five games already. In fairness, they aren't conceding many goals but at the same time, they aren't scoring any either. Probably best to steer clear for now.
Leeds (A), Wolves (H), Tottenham (A)
West Ham had one of the toughest opening fixtures in the league but still managed to beat Wolves, Leicester, and Fulham whilst also holding both City and Tottenham to a draw.
Antonio was their main man early on in the season (before getting injured) but if Moyes’s men can keep their recent performances going without him there are some decent FPL assets in the team. Cresswell, for instance, is a great option having already gotten 3 clean sheets and 3 assists this season, and facing Sheffield United next could extend that run of form. Fornals is another option with 2 goals and 3 assists to his name and his surprisingly low ownership (1.9%) means he could catapult his owners to the top.
Nothing major confirmed. Antonio is still out.
Sheffield United (A), Aston Villa (H), Manchester United (H)
Wolves currently average 1 goal each game (8 in 8) having never managed to score more than 2 goals in a single game meaning their attacking assets aren’t exactly prospering this season.
Podence, for instance, has disappointed managers with just 1 goal in his last six games, and the fact that he keeps getting subbed off after 60 minutes should also concern his current owners. Jimenez was Mr. consistent last season but he's also struggled recently with two blanks in a row. They both face Southampton next who are joint top for clean sheets this season so they will have their work cut out for them.
Defensively, however, Wolves has been one of the best teams with 4 clean sheets in 8 games but their next seven opponents are in the top seven for goals scored... What to think?
Nothing major confirmed.
Southampton (H), Arsenal (A), Liverpool (A)
Many of the players discussed in this week's preview have the potential to be good captain picks but here are the ones we and the bookies prefer.
Grealish is our pick of the week (controversial?). He has scored in each of his last 4 games against Brighton and with the absence of Salah and Tottenham facing off against Manchester City, he might just be the best captain choice along with Fernandes.
Werner and Fernandes are the bookies' top picks this week with a 50% and 45% chance of scoring respectively. Werner has 4 goals in as many games and has been given penalty duty by Lampard making him an obvious candidate. Fernandes has 3 goals and 2 assists in his last four games and in the same period he’s attempted 15 shots which no other midfielder in the league can match.
That’s it for our GW9 preview! We can’t wait for you to play around with our new site - and as always, feedback is much appreciated on email@example.com or over on our SoMe channels.
The “Draftlord” will be competing in our mini-league this season and if you beat him (unlikely) you’ll not only be competing for the prize money, but also for a Premier League Care Package provided by The Lord himself!
Wondering how to use Drafthound to boost your FPL performance? Look no further than our definitive guide to using our ranking and team analysis tools. We don’t expect you to read from A to Z (but we’d like you to). Instead, this guide is designed as a reference tool - so feel free to read the sections in whatever order you choose based on your specific need.
FPL is over, but the Euros are here! 🎉
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