Who are the best Fantasy Premier League midfielders to own for Gameweek 9? 4-time top 1k finisher Abdul Rehman uses the Hub's OPTA, Prediction, Comparison and Fixture tools to find the best FPL budget and premium midfielders for our FPL teams.
Check out our Ultimate Guide to FPL Gameweek 9 for all the key information, stats and tips you need going into the weekend's action.
Looking at our Fixture Ticker for Gameweek 9 it looks a good week for the midfielders in my opinion. With so many of them in form and some good fixtures for the likes of Manchester United, Aston Villa, and Chelsea it will be difficult choosing the top five. As always I will go through the stats, form and fixtures and pick the best midfielders for the coming Gameweek.
Bruno Fernandes (£10.6m) – Manchester United
Fixture: West Brom (H)
The Portuguese sits as the 5th highest scoring midfielder on 53 points despite playing only seven games. He has five goals and three assists and is looking again as the best players in that team. He has 17 Shots, nine Shots on Target, seven Shots in the Box and four Big Chances and has also created 15 Chances and three Big Chances. Despite Man United’s shaky start and their subpar performances in the league, Bruno is still churning out the points and is grabbing games by the scruff of the neck.
The Red Devils come up against West Brom who are one of the worst sides in the league and their defensive numbers incidicate that this game should be an easy win for Manchester United. They have conceded the most goals in the league (17) and also conceded 70 Shots in the Box (17th), 49 Shots on Target (19th), and 20 Big Chances (20th) whilst the Baggies have the worst xGC in the league with 15.55. Although United's attacking stats haven’t been the best I still feel they will be too much for West Brom and Fernandes seems to the most likely scorer with the form he is showing. United have a total of 34 Shots (7th), 48 Shots in the Box (13th) and 11 Big Chances (17th).
Bruno’s 17 point haul last Gameweek was already his third of the season with him getting a 12 point and 11 point haul in Gameweek’s 3 and 5 against Brighton and Newcastle United. The Portugal international is on penalties also so is always in with a chance to grab some points no matter how the match is playing out.
He is the highest predicted points scorer in our Point Prediction Tool for Gameweek 9.
Hakim Ziyech (£8.1m) – Chelsea
Fixture: Newcastle United (a)
The Moroccan had a great game last Gameweek against Sheffield United and showed us all why Chelsea signed him. He picked up two lovely assists and maximum bonus points to give himself an 11 point haul and has now scored one goal and three assists in his last three games. He hasn’t taken long to adapt to life in the Premier League and in his first full 90 minutes last Gameweek he had three shots and created both the most Chances (6) and Big Chances (3) out of all players.
Chelsea face off with Newcastle in Gameweek 9 and the Toon have one of the worst defensive numbers in the league. They currently sit 13th in the league and have conceded 132 Shots (20th), 74 Shots in the Box (19th), 53 Shots on Target (20th) and have an xGC of 13.39 (16th).
Chelsea have one of the best attacking stats with 105 Shots (3rd) 48 Shots on Target (2nd), 64 Shots in the Box (6th) and have scored the most goals with 20. The Blues have also scored seven goals in their last two games and looking at the stats of both teams it looks to be another routine win for Chelsea. With the amount of chances Ziyech will create for the wealth of his attacking teammates, he is likely to be amongst the points again and will also be a solid option for the long term. One thing to note in this fixture also is that Newcastle have conceded the second most Shots from Set Pieces (10) and with Ziyech on all indirect free kicks and the quality of his delivery I would not be surprised if he gets a few more assists again.
Sadio Mane (£12.0m) – Liverpool
Fixture: Leicester City (H)
Mohamed Salah (£12.4m) was going to be the top midfield pick for me this Gameweek but it looks like he will miss out due to contracting Covid so I am going for his teammate Sadio Mane. The Senegalese, like his Egyptian counterpart, has also been in good form this season. In the seven games he has played this season he has four goals and three assists and has only blanked in two of those. He has 21 Shots, 10 Shots on target, 15 Shots in the box, and 8 Big Chances (3rd) and has also created 14 Chances with 2 Big Chances Created. He is a very consistent option and with Salah out he will be the main goal threat for Liverpool and the one most likely to score in my opinion.
Mane plays a Leicester team who have been pretty good defensively with three clean sheets and their defensive stats are also decent. They have conceded 56 Shots in the Box (10th), 31 Shots on Target (10th) and 12 Big Chances (4th). They also have the fourth best xGC in the league with 9.59.
However, they come up against a Liverpool team who despite their defensive woes are the most attacking team in the league. The Reds have 133 Shots (1st), 49 Shots on Target (1st), 85 Shots in the Box (1st) and 26 Big Chances (2nd). Furthermore, they have the highest xG (18.70) and have created the most chances (89) so I think it’s safe to say there will be goals in this match. With the attacking underlying numbers of both Mane and Liverpool this looks like a game where he could easily haul. With Salah out I also think this makes him a better fantasy pick and he will be expected to make things happen for them.
Jack Grealish (£7.5m) – Aston Villa
Fixture: Brighton (H)
The English midfielder has been in scintillating form this season. He already has four goals and six assists in his first seven games and sits on 60 points – the third highest scoring midfielder behind only Heung-Son Min (£9.6m) and Mohamed Salah (£12.4m) and he has played a game less. He is looking like surpassing last seasons tally of eight goals and seven assists quite easily and this can be put down to him playing in a much more attacking role this season and also playing with better quality players around him. His stats have been on par with premium options, managing 22 Shots, nine Shots in on Target, 19 Shots in the Box and five Big Chances. He has also created 19 Chances and six Big Chances.
Aston Villa as a team have been much improved this season too and their attacking numbers show that plenty more goals are to come. Bearing in mind they have played a game less than 16 other teams they have 104 Shots (4th), 42 Shots on Target (4th), 74 Shots in the box (4th), and 20 Big Chances (3rd). They have also scored the third most goals in the league so far too with 18; a very impressive feat.
Grealish is quite obviously their most talented player and the driving force behind their attack and he looks like creating something or scoring almost every time he is on the ball. This season he also has other quality attacking players like Ollie Watkins (£6.0) and Ross Barkley (£6.0m) to aid him and put his assists away. I honestly think he is a fair shout for captaincy this week too as he provides both goal and assist threat and his underlying numbers show his output has been no fluke. He’s not only a great option for Gameweek 9 but for the long term also as Villa’s fixtures are great all the way until Gameweek 16 which coincides nicely with the first wildcard deadline.
James Rodriguez (£7.9m)
Fixture: Fulham (a)
The Colombian has been on fine form since his arrival to the Premier League as he hit the ground running from the off. He has managed three goals and three assists so far and has clearly been a key player in Everton’s strong start to the season. In seven games he has 14 Shots, six Shots on Target, seven Shots in the Box and two Big Chances. He has also created 17 Chances and 5 Big Chances.
He comes up against a Fulham side who have been leaking goals. They have conceded 67 Shots in the Box (15th), 47 Shots on Target (17th), 19 Big Chances (19th) and have conceded the third most goals (15). The Toffee’s have been decent attacking wise scoring 16 goals (4th), with 34 Shots on Target (10th), 59 Shots in the Box (8th) and 17 Big Chances (5th). They have also created 12 Big Chances (4th).
With all the key attacking players such as Rodriguez, Richarlison (£7.8m), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.8m) and Lucas Digne (£6.1m) all fit for this game I can see Everton scoring a few in this one and with the Columbian being the main creative threat in their midfield he is sure to be in the points.
Furthermore, with Calvert-Lewin in such fine goal scoring form, this makes James a better option too. After a great start to the season, the Merseyside club have lost their last three games but now with a fully fit squad they will be desperate to get back to winning ways and they have a fine fixture in Fulham to do that.
Hub Power Rankings
I will now rank these midfielders for Gameweek 9 via our Power Rankings for our Hub members:
You'll gain access to this article and all our fantasy football tools, tips and resources.