We have continued with our extensive update of the Watchlist ahead of a return to Fantasy Premier League action in Gameweek 9.
After going through our Goalkeeper and Defender sections earlier this week, we have moved onto the midfielders.
There is little change among the premium options but we have shuffled the pack when it comes to the mid-price assets.
Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard (£11.3m) stays top of the pile going into Gameweek 9. He has proved remarkably consistent this season and still only has one blank to his name in 2018/19. A home match against Manchester United this week may be more difficult than some expect, but Hazard will relish a chance to heap the misery on former manager Jose Mourinho. After that, it’s Burnley (away), Crystal Palace (home) and Everton (home) for Hazard, whose creativity and goal threat underlying statistics show he can sustain his current output in those fixtures.
Mohamed Salah (£12.8m) is another non-mover in spite of the current doubt over his fitness. The consensus seems to be that the Liverpool man’s injury is not too serious and that he was sent home from international duty with Egypt as a precautionary measure. We are sure to find out more at Jurgen Klopp’s Friday press conference. If Salah is fit, then he holds the key to unlocking Liverpool’s potential over the next four matches. They face favourable opponents in Huddersfield (away), Cardiff (home) and Fulham (home).
Raheem Sterling‘s (£11.1m) has been in fine form this season, and during the most recent international break, he was finally able to extend that to England duty. His brace against Spain earlier this week has only drummed up interest in him even more. Sterling has blanked in just one match this season and with a home match against Burnley up next, that is sure to continue. A trip to Spurs and an encounter with Manchester United in two of the next three looks tougher on paper, but Man City should find them easier than most. Outside of that the defending champions also face Southampton, West Ham and Bournemouth. Sterling may be in better form than Salah, but the popularity and pedigree of Aguero presents a popular alternative. There seems to be no such option at Liverpool currently.
Sadio Mané (£9.9m) is looking a doubt for Gameweek 9 following a thumb injury and procedure during the international break, but he is still being assessed for the trip to Huddersfield. Until we know for certain that he won’t play this week it is hard for him to drop down this list, especially considering Liverpool’s appealing fixtures, although we have put a down arrow to reflect the doubt over him. While he cannot compete with Salah for goal threat anymore, Mané is still a much cheaper route into the Liverpool attack.
Rising up the list is Everton man Richarlison (£6.8m). We have now added the Out of Position factor to him after Marco Silva deployed him as a forward in the Gameweek 8 win at Leicester. The Brazilian netted in that game and, given the other options available to the Toffees, we cannot see Silva reversing that decision. Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.4m) has been making a strong case to replace Richarlison on this list as he recorded more shots, more efforts on target, more chances created and more FPL points than him in the last four Gameweek. We’ve decided to stick with the former Watford man for now on account of his new position and cheaper price.
James Maddison (£7.0m) also rises up the Watchlist as Leicester’s fixtures continue to increase in appeal. The midfielder has demonstrated a nice balance of creativity and goal threat over the last four Gameweeks and is sure to capitalise on the fact the Foxes currently sit third for attacking potential on the Season Ticker over the next seven Gameweeks.
Ryan Fraser (£6.0m) drops a little after he pulled out of the Scotland squad with an injury during the international break. The Bournemouth man holds onto his Favourable Fixtures factor though as Southampton (home), Fulham (away) and Newcastle (away) are three of the Cherries’ next four. However, Fantasy managers should be aware that Bournemouth’s schedule does tighten up between Gameweek 11 and 14 when they face Manchester United (home), Arsenal (home) and Man City (away) in a four-week spell.
A goal in his last match and a very attractive set of fixtures in the next three sees Andre Schürrle (£5.9m) edge up the Watchlist. The Fulham midfielder still ranks favourable for shots taken over the last four Gameweeks (joint-third) and faces Cardiff (away), Bournemouth (home) and Huddersfield (away) between now and Gameweek 11.
Anthony Knockaert (£5.5m) sticks around despite his blank in Gameweek 8. Brighton & Hove Albion sit top of the pile for offensive potential on our Season Ticker when sorted for the next seven Gameweeks, and Knockaert looks their best option in midfield. The Frenchman is cheaper than Pascal Groß (£6.7m) and has outperformed him this season by 19 FPL points too.
Aaron Ramsey‘s (£7.4m) goal and assist against Fulham took his goal involvement tally over the last four Gameweeks to four, meaning we can no longer ignore him. Arsenal are in good form and still have appealing fixtures before they stiffen in Gameweek 14. Furthermore, Ramsey provides a cheaper alternative to Alexandre Lacazette (£9.7m). However, there is a slight doubt over his game time this weekend as his wife just gave birth to twins so we’ll be seeing what Unai Emery says about that in his pre-match press conference.
Paul Pogba (£8.1m) came close to being dropped off the list entirely, at the expense of Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£6.0m) but he managed to survive the chop. Only Harry Kane (£12.5m) has more shots on target than Pogba over the last four Gameweeks and Manchester United have slightly more favourable fixtures in the short-term. After visiting Chelsea in Gameweek 9 they face Everton (home) and Bournemouth (away) while Burnley have Manchester City (away), Chelsea (home) and West Ham (away) as their next three.
Lucas Moura (£7.4m) has come off the Watchlist now that he has no points returns since Gameweek 4. His underlying statistics were never particularly encouraging even during his purple patch, and with Spurs facing some stiffer defences between now and Gameweek 14, it made sense to move Moura on.
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