Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 9 Preview – Is Romelu Lukaku out for Chelsea, can you trust Raphinha for Leeds United

Thomas Tuchel has a headache over who to start up front after Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner both picked up injuries - whoever he picks will be expected to do well against Norwich. Here’s our Fantasy Premier League Who’s Hot, Who’s Not column.

Elsewhere, Man City test Brighton’s mean defence and Man United host Liverpool on Sunday.

Below, we pick out the best captain picks, discuss who’s hot, who’s not and the ones to watch ahead of this week’s transfer deadline tonight at 6.30pm. Follow @Gameweek38 on twitter for more Fantasy Footballing insight.

Captain Picks

In or out? Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku (Picture: Fabrizio Carabelli/PA Wire)In or out? Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku (Picture: Fabrizio Carabelli/PA Wire)
In or out? Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku (Picture: Fabrizio Carabelli/PA Wire)

Jamie Vardy (£10.7m) vs Brentford (A)

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No player in the league has had more shots in the box than Jamie Vardy over the last four gameweeks, having scored in each of these games. Aged 34, Brendan Rodgers is managing Vardy’s gametime as he was an unused substitute in Leicester’s midweek 4-3 win so should be fresh to face Brentford on Sunday.

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (£9.9m) vs Aston Villa (H)

A goal against Villa tonight will make it four goals in four home games for Aubameyang, who’s recent form is going under the radar. The Gabon international has scored three in his last five, is on penalties and is nailed on to play. Arsenal failed to score against Aston Villa in either game last season however, so Friday night’s affair will be a true test of the Gunners’ progress.

Captain's pick: Leicester City's Jamie Vardy (Picture: PA)Captain's pick: Leicester City's Jamie Vardy (Picture: PA)
Captain's pick: Leicester City's Jamie Vardy (Picture: PA)

Mo Salah (£12.8m) vs Man United (A)

Owned by almost two in three fantasy managers, Mo Salah just cannot stop scoring. His midweek Madrid brace made him Liverpool’s first player to score in nine consecutive games and his streak looks set to continue against an out of form Man United whose last clean sheet came ten games ago.

Who’s Hot?

Kai Havertz (Chelsea, £8.1m)

Is he back? Leeds United's Raphinha.
 (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)Is he back? Leeds United's Raphinha.
 (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Is he back? Leeds United's Raphinha. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

As we’ll discuss later, there’s a hole at the head of the Chelsea attack that needs filling as various players are set to miss out through injury. Havertz has experience in this position and prospered with a goal from it in the Champions League on Wednesday. After facing Norwich on Saturday, Chelsea take on Newcastle and Burnley.

Raphinha (Leeds, £6.7m)

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After missing out on last week’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton for international duty, Leeds fans will be delighted to see Raphinha return and desperate for a strong performance. The Yorkshire side have only one win this season and take on a Wolves team who have four wins in their last five. When the teams meet on Saturday, Raphinha will have taken more shots than any other player on the pitch over the last four gameweeks, signalling his strong attacking threat.

Caeser Azpilicueta (Chelsea, £6.2m)

One to watch: Bernardo Silva of Manchester City  (Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)One to watch: Bernardo Silva of Manchester City  (Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
One to watch: Bernardo Silva of Manchester City (Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

To take full advantage of Chelsea’s favourable fixture run, it will be important to pick nailed on players that are likely to start for them. No player has played more minutes this season than Azpilicueta who is Chelsea’s leading point scorer too. Capable of playing centre-back or as a wing-back, his versatility makes him the perfect utility player who can perform in any system and therefore very likely to pick up points.

Who’s Not?

Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea, £11.6m)

Prior to picking up an ankle injury on Wednesday, Tuchel had hinted that Lukaku may have been overplayed recently, therefore could have been a risk to start against Norwich this week anyway. In that respect, his injury may have come at a good time as he will be given space to recover and rest before the gruelling Christmas schedule kicks in.

Diogo Jota (Liverpool, £7.5m)

Jota’s time as first choice striker seems to have come to an end. He was benched for Liverpool’s last two games and Roberto Firmino has put in some great performances together which has made the Brazilian un-droppable based on current form

Adam Armstrong (Southampton, £6.0m)

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Hassenhuttl’s patience wore out last week as Armstrong’s two goal involvements in seven games finally demoted him to the bench. The Saints’ seemed to flourish in his absence too, as his replacement scored and the team picked up a clean sheet in a comfortable 1-0 win. Southampton have no reason to change their winning formula so it looks like Arstrong is destined to the bench again.

Ones to Watch (<5% ownership)

Armando Broja (Southampton, £5.0m, 1.0%)

It was in fact Armando Broja who scored and led the Southampton line last week in a man of the match display. It was the Albanian international’s first start of the season and after performing so well on the big stage, he looks set to keep his place. For £5.0m, he could be set-and-forget third striker material.

Bernardo Silva (Man City, £7.0m, 4.2%)

Only Kevin De Bruyne has created more chances than Silva over the last four gameweeks but for £5.0m less, Bernardo shows more value. Game time for Man City players is always a risk but having started City’s last seven league games, his spot in Pep’s starting eleven looks safe… for now.

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