Fantasy Football advice: Week nine

Sports Mole looks ahead to the ninth weekend of Premier League action from a Fantasy Football point of view.

After something of a mixed selection for week seven, we have hopefully redeemed ourselves during week eight with five of our six selections proving to be beneficial to your Fantasy Football sides.

Let's not place too much attention on Papiss Cisse after his horror miss for Newcastle United and Leicester City and instead focus on our advising you to select West Ham United's Diafra Sakho, who netted against Burnley, and Raheem Sterling, who helped Liverpool to a dramatic triumph over Queens Park Rangers. Our 'who to avoid' trio also came up trumps, with Martin Kelly and Younes Kaboul shipping six goals between them and Daniel Sturridge missing out at Loftus Road due to another injury setback.

Below, see who has made Sports Mole's lists for week nine, with the weekend's action being headlined by leaders Chelsea travelling to Old Trafford to play Manchester United.

Who to pick

1. Sergio Aguero

After scoring eight goals in five matches for Manchester City, can anyone really afford to leave out Sergio Aguero? The Argentine further improved his already phenomenal Premier League strike-rate last weekend with four goals against Tottenham Hotspur to keep his team in close proximity to Chelsea at the top of the standings, before following that up with another goal in the Champions League against CSKA Moscow. Earlier in the season, manager Manuel Pellegrini argued that the 26-year-old wasn't firing on all cylinders, but it looks safe to say that he is finding the same kind of ruthless form that saw him score at will last year and it will take some defensive performance from West Ham United to keep him out at the weekend.

Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on October 18, 2014© Getty Images

2. Eden Hazard

Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have dominated the headlines during Chelsea's early-season form but in recent weeks, we've began to see Eden Hazard reproduce the performances that mesmerised defences in the last campaign. The Belgian's influence was pivotal against Arsenal before the international break and he put in another five-star display in the Champions League in midweek. With Costa expected to be missing against Manchester United, responsibility will fall on Hazard's shoulders to create holes in an already leaky defence, and if he can produce an end product as well as his usual wizardry around the penalty area, it could be a long afternoon for the home side.

3. Dusan Tadic

When Southampton replaced Liverpool-bound Adam Lallana with Dusan Tadic in the summer, there were worries that Ronald Koeman had taken the cheap approach in recruiting the 25-year-old to take on an important role in his team, but pound-for-pound, the arrival of the Serbian is arguably the best bit of business done by any boss in the top flight. With one goal and seven assists to his name, he has acted as the perfect foil for Graziano Pelle and their partnership shows no signs of letting up. Stoke City will prove stronger opposition than Sunderland did last week, but the Saints are flying right now and it would come as no surprise if the former FC Twente man contributes to more goals on Saturday.

Who to avoid

1. Vito Mannone

In the same way in which there is every reason to select Aguero, there's absolutely no reason to have Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone in your side. Confidence at the Stadium of Light is at an all-time low after they were thrashed 8-0 by Southampton last weekend, and while they are unlikely to concede as many goals against Arsenal, they are vulnerable to the attacking options that Arsenal have at their disposal. There's also the possibility that Mannone, who used to ply his trade for the North London side, will be dropped for Costel Pantilimon who deserves an opportunity after being brought in from Manchester City during the summer.

Jack Cork of Southampton beats Vito Mannone of Sunderland to score their third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Sunderland at St Mary's Stadium on October 18, 2014© Getty Images

2. Calum Chambers

The thought of travelling to Sunderland isn't one that should worry Arsenal supporters but after registering just one clean sheet in 10 games in all competitions and two wins in the Premier League, an away victory is far from a certainty. The lack of defensive depth has been exposed in recent weeks and with Laurent Koscielny still a doubt, they are likely to have to deploy Nacho Monreal in an unfamiliar centre-back role for the trip to the North-East. Our decision to select Calum Chambers over his teammates is due to his disciplinary record, with the former Southampton man having already served a one-match ban for five yellow cards.

3. Didier Drogba

We sometimes like to give you a selection that makes you question our thinking, and we've gone down that route again this week. Didier Drogba appears to be the only striker that Chelsea have available for their trip to Old Trafford, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he guaranteed a starting place. We only have to go back as far as last season to see that Jose Mourinho is prepared to start without a recognised striker against Manchester United. Drogba's impact against a major team also has to be questioned, with the Ivorian netting just once, from the penalty spot, since his return to Stamford Bridge. He hasn't been given too many opportunities, but at the same time, that's going to mean that he's unlikely to play the full 90 minutes.

Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring his goal with Liverpool's English midfielder Steven Gerrard (L) during the English Premier League football match between Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool at Loftus Road in London on Oc
Read Next:
Premier League in numbers: Week Eight
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool23138254282647
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton2349102334-1121
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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