Five talking points ahead of FPL Gameweek 9
Three heavy-hitting strikers, one flowing attacking unit and a fixture-friendly side all discussed ahead of GW9's Saturday morning deadline.
Down to £11.4m, missing chances he would usually eat for breakfast and maybe not even 100% nailed-on:
"Not untouchable. Untouchable in our team has to be the spirit, the pride, the commitment to the club, the respect to the fans - that has to be untouchable, not players," Jose Mourinho said when asked specifically about Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of Manchester United's Europa League match against Fenerbahce.
With another defensive Mourinho performance expected from United away to Chelsea on Sunday, funds invested in Ibrahimovic can be used more wisely elsewhere.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic | Manchester United | 2016/2017 | Causing Absolute Chaos | A defenders' nightmare pic.twitter.com/I8pXoXPf3U— ㅤ (@Beardamendi) October 17, 2016
Arsenal ripe for a treble up?
Despite playing against extremely weak opposition, Arsenal's 6-0 hammering of Ludogorets last night certainly emphasised that Arsene Wenger's men have found their attacking groove.
Two goals against Swansea have seen Theo Walcott's price rise twice since Saturday (now £7.9m), with the maximum third £0.1m rise ahead of this week's 11.30am deadline very possible. Meanwhile, Alexis Sanchez (£11.3m) looks set to continue leading the Gunners' line while Mesut Ozil's (£9.5m) eye for goal had seen him net twice in his last three Premier League outings before yesterday evening's hat-trick.
Arsenal are firing on all cylinders. Considering Sterling > Walcott for a double up with Sanchez.— The General #FPL (@FPLGeneral) October 19, 2016
Fixtures against Middlesbrough (h) and Sunderland (a) in their next two outings also look ripe for clean sheets as fantasy managers could consider trebling up on the north London side.
Aguero to make a statement against Saints?
Seemingly rested against Everton for a crunch Champions League clash, Sergio Aguero found himself warming timber for the second time in five days as Manchester City were schooled by Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
Guardiola confirms on TV Aguero omission is tactical. Says he wants "more midfield players today". It's a big call— Andy Hampson (@andyhampson) October 19, 2016
FPL bosses won't be too disappointed that one of this weekend's main captaincy options didn't play a full 90 minutes midweek, though despite Guardiola's insistence that it was a tactical decision, doubts remain after rumours of an Aguero injury over the international break.
However, with the game over as a contest, it seems unlikey the Argentina forward would have been brought on if there was any risk of worsening a slight knock. Having picked up just one point in their last two Premier League outings, Guardiola will want all three points at the Etihad on Sunday.
Pep: "I am sorry, but until the last day of my career I will play out from the goalkeeper."— City Watch (@City_Watch) October 19, 2016
Also says Aguero took being benched well.
There's nothing more dangerous in FPL terms than a world-class striker with something to prove. Will those who gave him the GW8 armband be brave enough to do so again?
Got Aguero as FPL captain. Walcott as vice captain. Given my luck, Pep will probably throw Aguero on at 93 minutes just to ruin my gameweek.— Azeem Banatwalla (@TheBanat) October 15, 2016
Costa's tightrope walk
Diego Costa looks like an FPL must-have with 55 points so far this season, joint-top scorer this season alongside the aforementioned Walcott.
That made it Costa's 7th Premier League goal of the season. My #FPL points smiling like Dangote's bank account rigt now. 💪💪💪— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) October 15, 2016
But, as we know, the Spanish international is prone to getting in a bit of bother with referees and this weekend's home clash against Man United looks like a prime fixture for Costa to get his fifth yellow of the season.
A certain Jose Mourinho will definitely know how to wind him up.
However, with a League Cup game coming up in midweek, the Spain striker could serve his potential one-game ban there and be back for the Southampton match in GW10.
For once, it might be worth buying a player with four yellows to his name.
Stoked for the Potters
Discussed last week was the tantalising fixture list that Stoke City enjoy until a GW15 trip to the Emirates. Next up for Mark Hughes' men is a trip to Hull City, who have shipped 17 goals in their last four games.
While Marko Arnautovic (£7.2m) represents the best long-term attacking option at the Bet365 Stadium, the Austrian currently sits just one booking away from a suspension.
Joe Allen (£4.9m) netted both of the Potters' goals against Sunderland and represents excellent value, though whether or not he can become a serious fourth midfield option remains to be seen. The Welshman also departed after 74 minutes in GW9 with reports of a tight hamstring so the Hughes press conference is one for owners and potential investors to keep an eye on.
If you do buy Allen, this scenario looks one to avoid:
Joe Allen has scored two goals for Stoke today, and i have him on the bench in FPL. Standard.— LFC News (@LFCTransferNRS) October 15, 2016
In defence, a Stoke side that have seemingly weathered an early season storm of poor form offers lots of value. Lee Grant (£4.0m) will remain first-choice keeper for at least another four games, Erik Pieters (£4.4m) picked up two bonus points with the Potters' first clean sheet of the season while Geoff Cameron at the same price represents a potential out-of-position option as he looks set for a continued role in the double-pivot.