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Premier League: Fantasy gameweek nine preview

Original article published 29 September 2022

Following the international break there is a full weekend of Premier League football to look forward to, with plenty of interesting fixtures on the cards where Fantasy football players will have key decisions to make.

The weekend kicks off with a mouth-watering North London derby clash between top dogs Arsenal and Spurs, who could overhaul them with victory at the Emirates Stadium.

The derby matches don't stop coming as well, with the Manchester derby between City and United at the Etihad primed for Sunday, while there is a crucial East Midlands derby on Monday as the bottom two clubs face off at the King Power Stadium, with Leicester City hosting Nottingham Forest.

Here are five key players to watch out for heading into the weekend's fixtures.

Goalkeeper - Lukasz Fabianski

In truth, this could be either Lukasz Fabianski or Jose Sa, but Fabianski is the chosen one as West Ham are at home to Wolves on Saturday evening.

This is a contest between the two lowest-scoring teams in the top-flight so far this season, with the Hammers and the men from Molineux having only scored three times each.

Neither side have looked particularly creative this season, but at the same time neither has looked too leaky defensively - Wolves have conceded seven in seven, while the Irons have let in nine.

Home advantage is what David Moyes' men will be counting upon and the finish of the international break will offer them the chance to wipe the slate clean - West Ham are 11/8 to keep a clean sheet.

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Defender - William Saliba

The North London derby will be a big test of William Saliba's credentials despite his exceptional start to life as an Arsenal first-team player this season.

Three years after initially joining and following loan spells away, the young Frenchman is finally getting game time and he has looked the part early on, playing a big role in a side that has won six from seven games.

He offers a threat from set-pieces which Arsenal's other defenders don't particularly do and he has already scored twice in seven matches this season.

He can be backed at 16/1 to score at anytime against visiting Tottenham.

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Midfielder - Brenden Aaronson

Brenden Aaronson has slotted in nicely at Leeds United this season and is looking to be the key link man between midfield and attack.

He offers great energy from midfield and scored his first goal for the Whites in their 3-0 victory against Chelsea in the middle of August.

Leeds will be hoping to get back on the winning trail this weekend when they face a home match against Aston Villa on Sunday, with Steven Gerrard's men having won only two from seven so far.

Injury problems are affecting Villa, with summer signings Diego Carlos and Boubacar Kamara out long-term, negating much of their work in the summer transfer market.

That defensive weakness could be exploited by Leeds and Aaronson has proven himself to be a player who likes to get in the box and score goals - the USA international is priced at 10/3 to score at anytime at Elland Road.

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Forward - Ivan Toney

Ivan Toney will have been disappointed not to get his England debut during the international break despite being called up and is likely to have extra fire in his belly to prove Gareth Southgate wrong.

The former Peterborough United striker has enjoyed a wonderful start to the season and has managed to score five in eight matches, including a hat-trick against Leeds earlier this month.

The Bees come up against a Bournemouth side who have got the second-worst defensive record of the season so far, although that can largely be explained by their 9-0 thumping by Liverpool.

They can still be vulnerable and, with key defender and captain Lloyd Kelly out injured, that should offer Toney extra encouragement and he is 4/1 to score first at the Vitality Stadium.

Forward - Erling Haaland

What more can be said about the Norwegian striker? Erling Haaland is already well on his way to breaking records in the Premier League with his goalscoring exploits.

He has scored 11 goals in seven top-flight matches and has failed to score in only one of Manchester City's Premier League games so far this season.

Visitors Manchester United may have improved defensively from the opening few weeks of the season but, as it stands, it doesn't look like even the best centre-backs on the planet can stop Haaland from doing his magic.

He is 13/5 to score two or more against the Red Devils on the Etihad Stadium on Sunday and expand his freakish tally even further.

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