Well, another week has passed and many stories lines have grown a life of their own. The weekend’s first game brought us a new Premier League leader, the last game added serious intrigue to the title fight, and in between we had several interesting results.
Here’s what you need to be across, as we build up to FPL Gameweek 9.
When does FPL Gameweek 9 start?
Saturday 21 October, 9:00pm AEST
After two weeks off due to an international break, could there be a better way to kick off FPL Gameweek 9 than with a Merseyside derby?
Liverpool, who’ve seen title rivals Manchester City stumble at their recent hurdles, will be out for blood as Jurgen Klopp’s men continue pushing to cement their title credentials against fierce cross-town rivals, Everton. Sean Dyche will be hoping his side, fresh off a 3-0 rout of Bournemouth, are up for the fight. They’ll need to give lots of blood, litres of sweat, and maybe a few tears if they’re to claim Merseyside bragging rights for the first time since February 2021.
FPL Gameweek 9 notes
All aboard the Raheem Sterling express
1-0 Burnley! Would’ve been the full time headline were it not for Raheem Sterling (£7.0 I 9.2%). The former England talisman was at his electrifying best at Turf Moor, involved either directly on indirectly in his side’s four strikes; scoring one following a brilliant tackle from Moises Caicedo (£4.7 I 1.6%) and quick transition from captain Conor Gallagher (£5.4 I 0.4%), creating Burnley’s own goal with a driving run and wickedly deflected cross, winning the Cole Palmer (£4.9 I 0.8%) converted penalty with another darting run, and then playing a fine ball for Palmer to set Nicolas Jackson (£6.9 I 5.4%) up for his second goal of the season.
At the top of his Manchester City peak, Sterling was heralded for his intelligence and movement, particularly within the box. But, what was clear in this game is there is far more in the former Liverpool man’s technical duffle bag, particularly his ability to stand defenders up and drive past them with pace and purpose. In a sea of Chelsea inexperience, and with questions about the sides goal scoring capacity, it is performances like these that highlight Sterling’s importance to Mauricio Pochettino.
City blank as Arsenal show there’s fight in this title
It took a cruel deflection off Nathan Ake (£5.1 I 6.3%) to crack them, but the once perceived indomitable Manchester City fell at the hands of title rivals Arsenal. For the third time in their last four games, City failed to collect the three points with this loss potentially the most costly in their pursuit of their eighth Premier League title. Rodri’s (£5.6 I 5.8%) absence left a gaping, unfilled hole in Pep Guardiola’s midfield which many expected Arsenal to capitalise on. More alarming then the Spaniard’s absence was Erling Haaland’s (£14.1 I 89.5%) fourth consecutive goal blank. For the sake of the thousands who’ve captained him, let’s hope the Norwegian breaks his duck against Brighton in FPL gameweek 9.
For the Gunners’ title credentials, this victory feels like the club’s most monumental in quite some time. The task was made all the more insurmountable with Bukayo Saka’s (£8.6 I 50.7%) unfamiliar absence, but Mikel Arteta’s men overcame their star boys absence, as well some early City chances to Ake and Julian Alvarez (£7.0 I 32.5%), to claim the victory via the right boot of Gabriel Martinelli (£7.7 I 3.9%).
McTominay rescues Ten Hag
For the best part of an hour, it looked like Brentford would somehow manage to leave Old Trafford with the three points in their duffle bag in one of the great smash and grab robberies of our time. Casemiro (£5.4 I 3.8%), who looks a shell of the man he once was was, loses the ball cheaply and Brentford swarm, moving the ball with pace and purpose until it’s Mathias Jensen’s (£5.4 I 1.8%) to roll into the back of the net.
In between the Brazilian’s mishap and the Danes finish is a clearance from Victor Lindelof (£4.5 I 0.3%) that wouldn’t look out of place at Sunday league and another masterclass from Andre Onana’s (£4.9 I 17.7%) school of dodgy goalkeeping.
Enter a man unwanted by United, who was free to leave the club in the summer; Scott McTominay (£4.8 I 0.1%). The flying Scot former life as a striker was on full display in stoppage time of this game as he popped up in the right place at the right time to score twice, secure three points, ensured the gushing bleeding at Old Trafford has been temporarily stymied, and potentially saved his manager’s job.
Resilient Spurs go top
When Yves Bissouma (£5.0 I 0.6%) received his second booking of the match right on half-time and subjected Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs to 45 minutes with 10-men at a hostile Kenilworth Road not many would’ve expected them to return to London with the three points. That they did is further indication of the Australian’s work in reforming everything about Tottenham. Not only has their on-field play improved out of sight, but mentally they appear liberated, freed from the pragmatic shackles of previous eras.
Once again some James Maddison (£8.0 I 37.4%) wizardry, this time from a short corner, that proved the difference. The England man’s assist for Micky Van de Ven (£4.5 I 1.8%) was his fifth of the season, taking him to top of the league’s creativity charts. For Luton, they’ll be rueing a missed opportunity to claim a vital win, especially considering Elijah Adebayo (£4.8 I 0.6%) missed a second half sitter. One silver lining for Rob Edwards was the consistent creativity of left-back Alfie Doughty (£4.4 I 0.2%), who caused Pedro Porro (£5.1 I 10.6%) problems and looked most likely for Luton throughout the match.
Is there hope for Everton?
The tunnel is long, it’s dark, it’s desolate, but at the very end there is a tiny ray of light shining in. That’s how Everton fans would view their prospects of their Premier League season. After relegation dogfights in each of their last two campaigns, a 3-0 home thumping of Bournemouth would’ve given Sean Dyche’s men much more than just three points – it would’ve given them hope. Hope that their uninterrupted top-flight run can continue for another season longer and that, with new ownership on the cards, their fortunes mightn’t be far off changing.
Jack Harrison (£5.5 I 0.0%), on loan from relegated Leeds United, had a day out in just his second start for the Toffees. Playing on the right of a midfield four, the brilliantly effective winger cheekily chipped his first goal in Everton colours in from the edge of the area, before being in the right place at the right time for provide a fortuitous assist for Abdoulaye Doucoure’s (£5.5 I 1.0%) third goal of the campaign. The light just got a little brighter at Goodison Park.
Stalemate sees Liverpool and Brighton share spoils
On the eight year anniversary of Jurgen Klopp’s arrival on Merseyside, Liverpool headed to the south coast of England to face a Brighton side which had become a thorn in their red side. Liverpool’s run of not beating Brighton since March 2022 continued as a smart strike from Simon Adingra (£5.0 I 0.3%), who featured at right wing with Solly March (£6.4 I 6.1%) covering Pervis Estupinan’s (£5.1 I 37.2%) absence at left-back, and late Lewis Dunk (£5.0 I 3.5%) header from a March free kick rescued a point for Roberto De Zerbi’s men.
For Liverpool, they’ll curse themselves for missing an opportunity to leapfrog Manchester City (£12.6 I 33.9%). Klopp can take solace from his sides performance, and particularly that of Mohammed Salah, who’s first came from a lovely high-press induced intricate passing movement, and the second from a penalty one by another round of pressing, this time from impressive Hungarian Dominik Szoboszlai (£7.0 I 5.5%), who may we have ended the game with two assists had Ryan Gravenberch (£5.0 I 0.1%) packed his shooting boots.
Each week the Egyptian becomes a more enticing option, could FPL gameweek 9 be the round his ownership sky rockets?
Pedro Neto’s purple patch continues
53 minutes into his side’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, Portuguese star, Pedro Neto (£5.7 I 8.0%) received the ball just inside Aston Villa’s half with Pau Torres ahead of him. Just a single thought crossed his mind; drive. As has become commonplace this season, Pedro Neto has placed the fortunes of Wolves on his shoulders, driven into space and beyond defenders, and laid balls onto platters for his team mates. This game was no different, with Hwang Hee-Chan (£5.4 I 0.6%) the recipient this time. The Korean is now level with Salah and Jarrod Bowen (£7.3 I 17.9) on five goals this season, just one shy of fellow countryman Heung-Min Son (£9.4 I 33.8%).
The question now is, who’s the more ideal bench ‘cheapie’ heading into FPL gameweek 9? Hwang, or the man leading the Premier League’s assist charts, Neto? If you ask me, both have merit and potential.
Kudus stunner seals vital West Ham draw
He arrived at the club from Ajax with much fan fare and Mohammed Kudus (£6.5 I 0.3%) left the London stadium having reminded West Ham fans why that excitement existed. Injected with his side trailing 2-1 at the 76th minute against a surging Newcastle side, it took 13 minutes for the Ghanaian international to leave his mark on the game when he rocketed a strike from the edge of the area past Nick Pope (£5.5 I 11.7%) to level the scores and keep West Ham within touching distance of the top four.
For Newcastle, the mid-week high of their PSG thrashing couldn’t continue. Eddie Howe will be pleased with Alexander Isak’s (£7.5 I 20.9%) brace. The silky Swede now has 16 goals since his arrival on Tyneside and his building on this impressive return will be crucial if the Toon army want to cement themselves as top four certainties this season. On the FPL front, Kieran Trippier (£6.8 I 46%) picked up his fifth assist of the season, all of which have come in the last three games following an unusual slow start to the season.
Transfer targets under 15% ownership
DEFENDER: Alfie Doughty (£4.4 I 0.2%)
MIDFIELDER: Pedro Neto (£5.7 I 8.0%)
FORWARD: Darwin Nunez (£7.4 I 12.4%)