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Fantasy Premier League – Gameweek 9: Who to pick, who to drop, and this week’s dark horse


England and Brentford's Ivan Toney during a training session at St. George's Park, Burton-on-Trent. Picture date: Tuesday September 20, 2022.

England and Brentford's Ivan Toney during a training session at St. George's Park, Burton-on-Trent. Picture date: Tuesday September 20, 2022.

England and Brentford's Ivan Toney during a training session at St. George's Park, Burton-on-Trent. Picture date: Tuesday September 20, 2022.

The Premier League is back this weekend after the international break. Here are our picks for who you need this weekend, who to drop, and an Irish pick to drive your team up the leaderboards.

Who do I need this weekend?

Ivan Toney (Brentford) £7.3m

The striker has had a fine start to the new campaign and is the third highest-scoring player in the league on 47 points, behind Erling Haaland (73) and Harry Kane (50). He leads his teammates for shots (17) and chances created (11) so far, with 21pc of users backing him this weekend.

Toney’s five goals and two assists in seven games has pushed the Bees to ninth in the table. They face a Bournemouth side who shipped nine against Liverpool recently and have kept just two clean sheets so far. Brentford also face the likes of Newcaslte, Brighton and Aston Villa soon, with Toney likely to continue his rich run of form.

Reece James (Chelsea) £6m

The wing-back has been solid amid Chelsea’s difficult start to the season, as Thomas Tuchel was sacked before Graham Potter arrived in west London this month. James’ seven shots and seven chances created rank highly amongst the Blues, while his ability in hitting devastating crosses and playing key passes make him a highly regarded player at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have a kind run of fixtures to come, with Crystal Palace, Wolves and Aston Villa next, and with James’ ability to deliver at both ends of the pitch, he looks a good buy at £6m.

Who should I drop?

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) £7.4m

It’s been a difficult few weeks for the right-back for both club and country. The 23-year-old scored just three points across the two gameweeks before the international break and was left out of the England squad in Monday’s 3-3 draw against Germany.

Over 175,000 users have dropped Alexander-Arnold this week, who’s form sits at 1.5 coming into gameweek nine. With Arsenal and Manchester City to face over the next fortnight, it may be a good time to part ways with the right-back for now.

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Dark horse

James Maddison (Leicester City) £7.9m

Despite the Foxes woeful start to the season, Maddison has performed well, with three goals and an assist in six games earning him 29 points so far. He outranks all his teammates in shots (20), chances created (13) and shots on target (7). Brendan Rodgers’ side face a favourable run of fixtures, with Nottingham Forest and Bournement up next, Maddison may kick on and push his side off the bottom.

An Irish pick

Gavin Bazunu (Southampton) £4.5m

With Nathan Collins facing a three-match ban after his red card against Manchester City, Ireland’s number one is your best Irish pick this weekend. Ireland’s Matt Doherty, Séamus Coleman and Shane Duffy have had little to no game time in the opening weeks, something manager Stephen Kenny accepted isn’t ideal. Mark Travers has also been dropped at Bournemouth recently in favour of Neto.

Bazunu has had a solid start to his Premier League career, with a fine performance in Southampton’s victory over Chelsea, while also impressing against Manchester United. The Saints face an Everton side on Saturday who have struggled in front of goal this term.

Who to captain?

Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) £11.4m

After a slow start to the new campaign, the England captain has kicked into fantastic form for Spurs, and is currently first out of 631 players in the FPL ICT index.

Since gameweek two, Kane has netted six goals in his last six games to help lift Spurs to third in the league, though surprisingly, only one in five users have selected the 29-year-old this week. Antonio Conte’s side face Arsenal on Saturday, a north London derby Kane will be relishing, while he’s expected to grab goals against Brighton and Everton afterwards.

Top Irish player

Alan Toher’s side scored an incredible 110 points last weekend, thanks to the decision to captain Son Heung-min, which earned him 38 points. Son scored a stunning 13-minute hat-trick off the bench as Spurs thrashed Leicester 6-2. Elsewhere, William Saliba, Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Harry Kane all scored to lift Toher to 116th in the Irish leaderboard.

Gameweek nine deadline: 11am Saturday October 1.

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