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    George's Fantasy Football Tips: Week 9

    Stop press, I actually got some things right last week- maybe clairvoyance is my true calling after all. I won’t bore you with the details of what I predicted but now you have all the more reason to read last week’s instalment!

    Chelsea vs. Watford:

    Watford impressed yet again against Arsenal, with Troy Deeney’s well publicised physicality mirrored by the entire team. They have picked up ten points from a possible twelve away from home so far and that win in the late kick off last week meant that the Marco Silva (pictured below) revolution has overseen the Hornet’s best ever start to a Premier League season. This could also be the perfect time to face Chelsea. They have looked unconvincing without N’Golo Kanté and now look likely to lose David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko for this week. Victor Moses’ spell on the side-lines will be for a longer period. Watford have saved their best form for away ties this season and could hope to get in behind with either a 4-3-3 or a 4-5-1 formation. The key players in this system are the wingers, Richarlison, André Carillo or Roberto Pereyra- their attacking intent is vital if Watford are to pull off another away result. With Richarlison the most expensive of them at £6.2, they could be worth a punt. Tom Cleverly and Abdoulaye Doucouré have also been in fine form so far this season- any attack Watford start will likely come from either of them.

    Despite Chelsea missing several high-profile players, they are still definitely favourites for this tie. Alvaro Morata (pictured below) is back in the side and, given Watford’s centre-back’s tendencies to fully commit to challenges, he is likely to find some space in the box and is a decent bet for a goal. Watford have conceded 13 goals already this season, the joint fifth highest in the league, and after being stung by Roma in midweek, the home side will be keen to prove any doubters wrong. Eden Hazard is yet to score this season and Willian, Pedro and Cesc Fabregas have amassed just two goals and two assists between them- surely these stats have got to be improved at some point? Marco Silva and Watford’s high-pressing game has won them many plaudits but, against a team who work equally as hard to defend from the front, they could be on to a hiding at Stamford Bridge.

    Everton vs. Arsenal:

    To say Ronald Koeman is treading on thin ice with would be an understatement- he’s the equivalent of a Watford manager in May at the moment after more unconvincing performances against Brighton and then Lyon in midweek. The main criticism had been that they lacked any kind of pace with fans in particular calling for the return of Ademola Lookman (pictured below) to the first team setup. On Thursday Kevin Mirallas and Nikola Vlasic were introduced to add greater width to the side and it would not be a surprise for them to feature again this weekend. Gylfi Sigurdsson looks much stronger through the middle than when thrown out on the wing- his form is bound to return at some point. They don’t get enough players into good positions when attacking, playing with two holding midfielders that commit to their positions. It would not be a surprise for Morgan Schneiderlin, rather than Idrissa Gueye, to miss out at the expense of a more attacking midfielder, perhaps Tom Davies or Sigurdsson with Rooney playing further forward. Something’s got to change for Everton and Koeman, they’re in serious danger of being out of the European race before Christmas.

    Arsenal will be hurting after their defeat at Vicarage Road last week, especially following Troy Deeney’s well publicised comments about their mental toughness and will to win. It is time for the Gunners to stand up and be counted if they want to be seen as serious contenders and keep hold of their star players. Alexis Sanchez may well return to the squad after international duty which would be a big boost- especially if Everton continue to get exposed down the flanks as they have been all too often.

    The major bonus for Arsenal is the return of Jack Wilshere (pictured above). He was instrumental in their Europa League win on Thursday and, in my opinion, remains the most technical English midfielder available (bar maybe Dele Alli). The only issue is if he stays fit but on Thursday, with less hype and much less responsibility on him, he quietly went about his business in the Arsenal midfield and showed glimpses of his quality. I would expect him to get his first Premier League start of the season this weekend and, if that is the case, he could make a big difference. Everton could overcommit in attempting to get the win and, with a defence low on confidence, Wilshere could thrive.

    A bit of a shorter one this week I’m afraid but, as always, thanks for reading!

    I’m also on twitter now talking about football and retweeting left wing politicians to try and look intelligent: GK_Journo
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    Item Reviewed: George's Fantasy Football Tips: Week 9 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: George Kelsey
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