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Fantasy Premier League managers will have experienced another weekend of frustration or elation after some surprise results and plenty of eye-catching performances.
With the international break on the horizon and plenty of injuries to key players from the first part of the season, now could be the time to think about a wildcard to bring in some in-form players and rebalance your squad. Here are five players we think could help you in gameweek 9 and beyond, regardless of whether you are thinking of a whole-squad overhaul or just a small differential gamble to catch up with your rivals.
Ollie Watkins – Aston Villa, forward (8.1 m)
While Villa’s three-match winning streak may have come to an end after a 1-1 draw with Wolves, Unai Emery’s star striker continued his impressive form with another assist. The 27-year-old has earned a recall to Gareth Southgate’s England squad and it’s easy to see why with four goals and four assists in his last four games.
After the international break, Villa have an enticing run of fixtures against West Ham, Luton Town, Nottingham Forest and Fulham – three of which are at home – and the English striker should be highly coveted by many managers.
Antony Gordon – Newcastle, midfielder (5.6m)
If you’re looking to fund a move for Watkins in attack, the Newcastle winger could offer a budget-friendly option in midfield. Gordon sat out the Magpies’ clash with West Ham having picked up his fifth yellow card of the season and so should be well rested by the time gameweek nine rolls around.
Home fixtures against Crystal Palace and Bournemouth lie ahead in the next four and with one goal and three assists in his last three starts, it’s clear that Gordon is beginning to show the kind of form that warranted his big-money move from Everton last January.
The 22-year-old will return from a suspension for GW9
Tyrick Mitchell – Crystal Palace, defender (4.5m)
Palace’s backline wracked up their third clean sheet in a row in gameweek eight and statistically are the fifth-best defensive side, conceding just 10.35 expected goals so far this season, a figure better than league leaders Tottenham and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Tyrick Mitchell has shown his capabilities going forward already this season – with an assist in the 3-2 win against Wolves – and could be a good long-term rotation option in defence. Tricky fixtures against Newcastle and Spurs are on the horizon in the next two gameweeks but the following home games against Burnley and Everton could offer the potential for returns.
David Raya – Arsenal, goalkeeper (4.8m)
With four Premier League starts in a row, it’s clear that Raya has usurped Aaron Ramsdale in the pecking order at the Emirates. The Spaniard has made a promising start to life in an Arsenal shirt with three clean sheets in his first four games and is the cheapest starting goalkeeper out of the clubs currently occupying the top five spots in the league.
Home fixtures against Sheffield United and Burnley feature in their next four games and with just 3.4% of managers owning the Arsenal shot-stopper, he could represent a smart differential pick for the weeks ahead.
Pedro Neto – Wolves, midfielder (5.7m)
After an upset victory over Man City and a well-deserved point against Villa, there are signs that Gary O’Neil may be beginning to find his footing with this Wolves side. A large part of that has been the form of Pedro Neto who has one goal and six assists in his last six games. The Portuguese international set up Hwang Hee Chan’s opener on the weekend and currently has the ninth-highest number of points out of all midfielders in the game, putting him above much-fancied assets like Moussa Diaby and Kaoru Mitoma who are both around 1m more expensive.
Games against Bournemouth and Sheffield United – two of the league’s bottom three – await in Wolves’ next three fixtures so the in-form winger is certainly one to consider if you’re looking for an outside-the-box pick over the next few weeks.
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