This week in Talking Points we look at what to look out for in game week 9 to be prepared for the early game week 10 transfer. We look at the teams with a good run of games and the teams with a tough run of games, and we consider the implications of last weekend’s formation changes and if these will be repeated this weekend. All the while we chat about this weekend’s action in our comments section.
Good Runs from game week 9 onwards
Stoke got their first win of the season against fellow strugglers Sunderland and are attempting to confirm their form against Hull City, Swansea, West Ham, Bournemouth and Watford.
In the first look of a real relegation battle of the season, Stoke easily saw off Sunderland. The Black Cats only mustered one shot on goal, meaning that goalkeeper Lee Grant did not have to repeat last week’s heroics to grab a clean sheet. This was the Potters first clean sheet in the last eighteen Premier League games but there sure is potential in the upcoming games to add to that tally. With Butland expected to be out until GW12, Grant looks like a good replacement for Jakupovic owners or those wanting to save some funds on defence.
Joe Allen scored for the third consecutive game and his brace takes him to four for the season, matching his best ever season total. In the international break he also scored for Wales, so his goal scoring streak is no fluke. Coming in at a discount price, in form and with great fixtures ahead, you can’t do wrong getting him in your team. He almost looks like an alternative to Etienne Capoue who’s form has dipped slightly.
Liverpool dropped to fourth place after a dull 0-0 draw against Manchester United. They now face a generous run of games against West Brom, Palace, Watford, Southampton and Sunderland.
Klopp’s attacking prospects was stopped by Mourinho’s defensive tactics leading to few chances and a less entertaining game than anticipated. Liverpool still created the best chances in the game and David De Gea proved his worth again with some excellent saves. At the other end, Pogba created one good chance for Ibrahimovic but apart from that the Liverpool defence was never under any real threat.
Given the upcoming run of games, we back Liverpool to bounce back. Lovren remains a popular choice and his stock will rise again after registering the first clean sheet of the season. In midfield we saw some reshuffling due to injuries to Wijnaldum and Lallana but the latter was brought in during the second half and should be ready to start the next game as he made a positive impact. According to your budget, a Liverpool player should really be within your ranks.
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) October 22, 2016
Manchester City dropped points for the second game in a row as they drew with Everton and got absolutely smashed 4-0 by Barcelona in the midweek Champions League fixture. They still sit first in the league but only on goal difference, and will look to create a positive gap again in the games against Southampton, West Brom, Middlesbrough, Palace and Burnley.
In a thoroughly entertaining game, Manchester City battled a resilient Everton and somehow managed not to win despite dominating possession and being awarded two penalties. The first was missed by the De Bruyne and Aguero followed his example in the second half. In the end the Citizens had to settle for a draw after substitute Nolito headed in a Silva cross, which erased Lukaku’s opener.
The City defence did not give away many chances however they played a risky game by applying a higher defensive line, and were punished when Bolasie set up Lukaku for a one on one with Clichy. They have no intention of changing anything, there are better defensive options around so don’t invest.
In midfield De Bruyne had a mixed game and Sane and Sterling were a constant threat out wide, but it was Silva and the substitute Nolito who got the points on the board. It’s clear that there is value in the City midfield however the points will be spread and with the Champion’s League in full swing, we will also see some rotation. De Bruyne and Sterling remain the best options however if you’re looking for City cover then we still recommend getting Aguero. Even though he missed the penalty, he also managed to get some good shots on target and if it weren’t for Stekelenburg he could’ve walked away with the match ball.
Bad Runs from game week 9 onwards
Middlesbrough are sitting just above the relegation zone on goal difference and risk to slip further down with games against Arsenal, Bournemouth, Manchester City, Chelsea and Leicester.
After a promising start to the season, Boro managed to get just one point from the last five games and seems to be heading for a tough season. The strong defensive performances we saw in the Championship last year seem to have disappeared whilst there are no attacking players at all. Negredo started the season with a goal and two assists in his first two games, but since then he has done nothing at all. Sell any player you still own or bench them until the fixtures ease up and Boro find some form.
Southampton continued their unbeaten run as they comfortably beat Burnley. They’ll face some tougher opponents in the upcoming weeks when they meet Manchester City, Chelsea, Hull City, Liverpool and Everton.
Southampton conceded for the first time in 612 minutes of play but overall the defence stood strong again and gave very little away. Given the upcoming run of games we wouldn’t recommend to get a defender right now however if you already own one then you can safely hold as it isn’t beyond the Saints to cause an upset against a bigger team.
Attacking-wise Southampton created plenty of opportunities throughout the game and if it weren’t for the excellent saves of Tom Heaton, the margin could have been far greater. Charlie Austin is manifesting himself as the go-to option for the third striker spot as he scored seven goals in his last six games in all competitions for Southampton. He is also on spot kick duties and playing in an attacking-minded side, which surely means the points will continue to flow. It is recommendable that you buy him despite the upcoming run of games.
What an afternoon this was! ???? https://t.co/NJjSvo8qyE
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) October 21, 2016
Other game week 9 Talking Points
- Lukaku continued his good form with his sixth goal in his last five Premier League appearances.
- Holebas showed why he has become a popular pick this season after scoring his second goal of the season. He now had a hand in three goals this season, as he also got one assist as well as the Watford clean sheet and at only 4.5M he is a great buy.
- Nacer Chadli has been involved in six goals in his five Premier League games this season (four goals, two assists). He has netted four goals in his five top-flight games for West Brom, as many in his previous 33 for Tottenham. Consider him for your midfield.
- Diego Costa scored again and is the highest scoring player in the game, together with Walcott. Buy him if you’re looking for a premium striker.
- Walcott scored a brace and looks a must-have midfielder at the moment. He’s 3.5M cheaper than Sanchez but currently outscoring the Chilean by one point, so don’t hesitate to get him now.
- Junior Stanislas has scored three and assisted another two in his last three Premier League games.
- Adam Smith got another assist and has now scored five points or more in each of the Cherries home games this season. Get him in a home-away rotation with Holebas.
- Hull City finally appointed Mike Phelan as manager and promptly lost 6-1. After a promising start to the season they seem to have become the “free three points” so consider captaining against them if there aren’t any clear captain choices around.
- Aaron Cresswell was unlucky to get sent off but before that he still managed to get an assist. Since his debut in August 2014, he has provided nine assists in the Premier League, a haul only two other defenders can better (Janmaat 11, Baines 10). Consider him after he gets back from suspension.
- Payet and Antonio were not able to shine against Middlesbrough but with a tasty fixture home against Sunderland coming up, you can give them one more chance.
- After scoring with four of his first 15 shots in the Premier League, Ibrahimovic has failed to find the net with any of his past 26 in the competition. He now blanked in the last three games, which is simply too much for a player with such price tag, therefore sell and replace.
- Tom Heaton keeps on racking the save points and still managed to score five points despite conceding three goals. He remains a strong candidate if you’re looking for a reliable keeper to play every week.