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Gameweek 9 presents a now rare challenging captain decision for Fantasy Premier League players: with the Manchester and north London derbies taking place, picks are thin on the ground. We also have all our go-to picks in Champions League action next midweek.
Erling Haaland has long been the captaincy go-to this season, but with a challenging fixture, we may be forced to look elsewhere. There are some credible options on the table with favourable fixtures to select from.
Erling Haaland vs Manchester United (H)
Despite a difficult fixture for Haaland, he’s still expected to be the overwhelming captain favourite for this weekend, having scored 11 goals across his opening seven fixtures. He’s the only player who has delivered an attacking return in every single gameweek this season, so we shouldn’t doubt his ability this weekend.
Manchester United have improved in recent games, conceding just two goals in four and keeping two clean sheets, but an away trip to the Etihad provides a much tougher test. We know that Haaland can find another gear in the big games. He’s also on penalties for Manchester City and leads the way for big chances this campaign with 14.
Mohamed Salah vs Brighton (H)
The forgotten man of this season, we know what Salah is capable of given his consistency over the last five seasons. We expect to see an upturn in form for Liverpool over the coming weeks, with key players Thiago and Joel Matip now back from injury, which certainly impacted their general performances across the opening six gameweeks of the season.
Liverpool face a new-look Brighton side under Roberto De Zerbi, with a more offensive style of play expected than under Graham Potter. Salah has six goals and five assists from ten Premier League appearances against the Seagulls. He is currently ranked second for chances created this season, with three assists to go alongside two goals this campaign.
James Maddison vs Nottingham Forest (H)
It’s not very often that a captain pick comes up in FPL who plays outside the top six clubs and not among the premium priced players. Maddison could be the exception to the rules this gameweek. Despite Leicester struggling at the start of the season, Maddison has managed three goals and one assist in his opening seven games.
With the fixtures now turning for Leicester, including Nottingham Forest at home this week, now could be time to trust Maddison with the armband. He’s had 20 shots at goal this season and created 13 chances for his teammates, showcasing his ability to grab goals and assists. Nottingham Forest have conceded 14 goals in their last four games.