We analyse the very best and worst of the Premier League’s fantasy performers for Gameweek 9.
Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City)
PlayON Price: £9.7m
PlayON Points: 3,300
It appears that Stoke have turned a corner of late. Mark Hughes’ men are unbeaten in the last five fixtures and crucially have started putting together a string of impressive wins. Joe Allen has been a major catalyst in their recent turnaround but Gameweek 9’s victory over Hull City belonged to Xherdan Shaqiri.
The Swiss international turned in a man of the match performance on Saturday, blitzing the opposition with a first half brace. In his five appearances so far this season, Shaqiri now has three goals and having put in the starring role in Stoke’s 2-1 victory, his fantasy stock will surely rise – his current ownership in Fantasy Premier League stands at a lowly 4%. The winger ranks as the highest scoring player in PlayON this week with 3,300 points and could be differential pick over the coming weeks.
Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
PlayON Price: £7.9m
PlayON Points: 2395
The wheel of Premier League crisis is firmly pointing at Manchester United following their 4-0 defeat to Chelsea, but not too long ago the Blues were the ones in that same ‘crisis’.
Gary Cahill was a major factor in a bad run of form that saw them lose crucial games to Liverpool and Arsenal. He’s clearly put that behind him and in Gameweek 9 showed evidence of his continued rejuvenation since Antonio Conte’s switch to a three man defence.
The England international performed admirably to maintain a clean sheet and went one further by putting United to sword to score Chelsea’s second goal. With Chelsea’s next fixture coming up against a goal-shy and leaky West Ham, Cahill and the Blues’ new look backline, could represent high yielding fantasy options.
PlayON Price: £9.9m
PlayON Points: 2,355
The highest ranking forward of the Gameweek, Pedro’s Chelsea career up to this point has been rather stop-start. The ex-Barca man however, was on hand to turn in a scintillating performance in the Londoner’s 4-0 rout of Manchester United.
A goal and an assist landed the Spain international with an impressive 2,355 points and with Willian out of selection through personal reasons, the coming weeks could be the ideal time to bring Pedro into your fantasy line-up.
Chris Smalling (Manchester)
PlayON Price: £6.2m
PlayON Points: 0
Jose Mourinho may have attempted to deflect attention onto Antonio Conte’s over-enthusiastic geeing up of the Stamford Bridge crowd, but there was no getting away from this utter-shambles of a Manchester United performance.
It was very much a blame game on Sunday and Chris Smalling was culpable in some capacity for at least three of the goals the Chelsea put past David De Gea. One of the players to really improve under the guidance of Louis van Gaal, Smalling could find himself scapegoated by his manager if their uninspiring run continues. Having already shipped 13 goals already this season, United’s defence doesn’t look like drastically improving any time soon, certainly if Eric Bailly’s injury is as bad as initial fears.
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
PlayON Price: £15m
PlayON Points: 250
It wasn’t a terrible performance, Sergio Aguero just never really got going.
The outlay of including the Argentine is such that for every game that goes by without a goal, his countless fantasy managers lose major ground on their Aguero-less competitors. The 28 year old was reduced from taking a couple potshots that never even threatened Fraser Forster in the Saints’ net. It was a subdued performance to say the least, but possibly symptomatic of a loss of confidence following his international struggles and high-profile exclusion in City’s 4-0 defeat to Barcelona. You won’t keep this man down for long, but in Gameweek 9 the Southampton backline did just that.
Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
PlayON Price: £m
Truth be told, his performance really was not deserving of a place on this list, he was in fact one of Arsenal’s better players on the day, but a 0-0 draw against Middlesbrough really did a number on the sizeable fantasy community – 21.5 % – that backed Theo Walcott for great things in Gameweek 9.
Boro had been on lacklustre run of form and in the lead up to the game it looked as if this rampant Arsenal side – in particular Walcott – would flex their muscle and make ground on the Premier League’s top brass. It wasn’t to be as Boro ran them close at the Emirates.
More will be expected away to winless Sunderland in Gameweek 10, but will Walcott capitalise?