FPL GW9 transfer tips. With a torrid upcoming run of games for Tottenham, we assess three potential FPL replacements for Heung-min Son (£9.6m) and Harry Kane (£11.0m) across the price brackets.

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.

Fixture focus

When sorted by attack between Gameweek 9 and Gameweek 15, Spurs sit bottom of the Fantasy Football Hub Fixture Ticker. That will happen when your schedule reads Man City (H), Chelsea (a), Arsenal (H), Palace (a), Liverpool (a), Leicester (H) and Wolves (a).

It must be said that considering the havoc being wreaked by the international break in injury terms, transferring out available players is unlikely to be high on any manager’s priority list. Kane played 90 minutes on Sunday night as England lost 2-0 to Belgium, while Son lasted the entirety of South Korea’s 3-2 friendly defeat to Mexico in Austria.

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Kane played 90 minutes against Belgium on Sunday night

According to an AFP report, a Covid-19 outbreak in the South Korea camp means that Son – who tested negative for coronavirus ahead of the Mexico tie – and his team-mates are confined to their hotel rooms outside of training times at their Vienna base. South Korea have another friendly on Tuesday against Qatar, while England face Iceland on Wednesday.

Another point on Tottenham is that Jose Mourinho’s team are capable of punishing high defensive lines. Depending on your outlook, a game against a Manchester City side that play on the front foot could pay dividend for Spurs attackers. But there are undoubtedly better fixtures to target in the medium term, if not immediately.

Midfielders

Premium

Bruno Fernandes (£10.6m)

In a week’s time, one of Kevin de Bruyne (£11.5m) or Raheem Sterling (£11.5m) would be the top midfield target considering Man City’s excellent run of fixtures from Gameweek 10.

But with West Brom visiting Old Trafford, Fernandes’ armband credentials are difficult to look past in a gameweek where picking a captain appears difficult. Only Hakim Ziyech (£8.2m) has more transfers in than the Portugal star ahead of Gameweek 9.

Despite each of his three double-figure hauls this season coming in away games, Fernandes always has penalties and set-piece duties to boost his appeal in any tie. Over the last four gameweeks, the midfielder sits joint-top for shots (15) with Mohamed Salah (£12.4m), while only the Egyptian has had more shots on target (8 v 7).

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Fernandes has attracted plenty of new owners ahead of Gameweek 9

While a visit from the Baggies does look good on paper, Slaven Bilic’s side are only ninth-worst for shots conceded (46) and shots allowed inside the area (28) over the past four gameweeks. However, West Brom have given up eight big chances in that time and allowed four attempts from set-pieces conceded.

Mid-price

Jack Grealish (£7.5m)

For those looking to free up some funds, Grealish is hard to look past in the mid-price midfield bracket. The Aston Villa midfielder is joint-top with Ziyech for big chances created (4) over the past four gameweeks, while he leads the league for ‘expected assists’ over that period.

Grealish is also joint-top for shots inside the box (11) with Salah and only lags behind the Liverpool attacker for ‘expected goals’ according to the Hub’s OPTA Stats tool. The Villans have arguably the best seven-game run of any team from Gameweek 9, with Grealish’s ownership (35.3%) and price set to continue rising at pace.

Following Villa’s 3-0 win away to Arsenal in Gameweek 8, Dean Smith said of his attackers:

“What pleased me the most was we could’ve scored more. We created some great chances from our ball-carrying skills with Jack Grealish, Ross Barkley (£6.0m), Trezeguet (£5.3m) and Ollie Watkins’ non-stop running.”

Budget

Tomas Soucek (£4.9m)

For managers seeking to restructure their sides, the West Ham midfielder offers security of starts and a goal threat at a budget price.

The Czech international scored his first goal of the season in Gameweek 8, a late winner against Fulham, having had a headed attempt against Wolves classed as an assist for a Raul Jimenez own goal.

Of midfielders priced £5.0m and under, only Ademola Lookman and Sander Berge – both of whom recently took penalties – have higher xG totals than Soucek since Gameweek 5. West Ham are another team with a favourable fixture run into the New Year.

Forwards

Premium

Jamie Vardy (£10.1m)

Up against a Liverpool defence this weekend that will be without at least three of its regular components, Vardy stands out as a Kane replacement with matches against Fulham (H), Sheffield United (a) and Brighton (H) from Gameweek 10.

fantasy premier league gw9 tips

Vardy and Leicester have a great fixture run on the horizon

With Brendan Rodgers seemingly adopting a counter-attacking style this season, it might be that Vardy has greater joy against more expansive teams such as Liverpool. The Foxes do have one of the lowest shots-in-the-box totals (23) over the last four gameweeks, though Vardy’s predatory nature and penalty-taking duties have generally seen him classed as a ‘stat-buster’.

For more on Vardy and the best strikers to target for Gameweek 9 specifically, check out this piece by Abdul Rehman.

Best Forwards For Gameweek 9 | Fantasy Premier League Tips 2020/21

Mid-price

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.8m)

For shorter-term planners, Everton’s next three games are potentially the best in the league from an attacking point-of-view. Carlo Ancelotti’s men travel to face Fulham and Burnley, with those trips sandwiching a visit from Leeds in Gameweek 10. Things do get a bit stickier in schedule terms for the Toffees after Ganeweek 11.

However, at that point we should hopefully be able to make better judgements on the Everton attack as key cog Richarlison (£7.8m) is now available. On the Brazil forward, Ancelotti said ahead of 3-1 loss to Manchester United:

“It is impossible to replace Richarlison. There is no player in the world like Richarlison. So we have to replace him with another player with different quality. We have to change a little bit our style of play without Richarlison, but the defeat [against Newcastle] was not because Richarlison was not there. It was because we did not play well. Simple.”

Both Ancelotti and FPL bosses will be hoping that James Rodriguez (£7.9m) will be fully fit after the international break to restore the front three that made Everton an attacking force to be reckoned with in the early gameweeks.

The Colombian lasted 80 minutes against the Red Devils in Gameweek 8 before requesting a substitution. After the game, Ancelotti explained:

“He was OK, he was tired. This week he did 80 minutes and he asked me to change it because he was tired but no physical problem.”

Rodriguez has already logged 90 minutes for his country over the international break, with another fixture to play on Tuesday before making the journey back to Merseyside.

Calvert-Lewin, who scored a penalty for England last week, sits fourth for shots inside the box for forwards since Gameweek 5 behind Patrick Bamford (£6.1m), Kane and Aleksandar Mitrovic (£5.7m).

Budget

Patrick Bamford (£6.1m)

The aforementioned Leeds striker just edges out Ollie Watkins (£6.1m) in the budget bracket, due to some phenomenal stats, despite a tougher run of games for Marcelo Bielsa’s charges.

Bamford sits top of the forward charts for shots on targets, efforts inside the box and big chances over the past four gameweeks. He also had a goal ruled out on the finest of margins against Crystal Palace in Gameweek 8.

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Bamford sits top of the forward charts for shots on targets, efforts inside the box and big chances over the past four gameweeks

After his hat-trick against Villa in Gameweek 6, Bielsa said of Bamford:

“I’m pleased for him. It’s not that much has changed. He’s just being more efficient.”

Leeds also lead the league for shots in the box since Gameweek 5, though Villa admittedly boast a higher xG total and a slightly higher number of big chances. For those deciding between Bamford and Watkins, much might come down to whether Grealish is already part of your squad. As with Vardy, both of these budget strikers have the added bonus of not being on international duty ahead of Gameweek 9.

Conclusion

Apart from those on a wildcard, the best advice for every other FPL manager is to hold your transfers until Friday at least. With the Gameweek 9 deadline set for 11am (GMT) on Saturday, there is plenty of time left to assess the wreckage of this international break – which still has a round of matches left to go. The Saturday morning deadline also means that we can also avail of embargoed press conference quotes, which should emerge on Friday night.

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.

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