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FPL tips: Ollie Watkins can star for Aston Villa once again

FPL tips: Ollie Watkins can star for Aston Villa once again
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The Aston Villa forward tops our recommendations, with several Chelsea players also featuring.

Fantasy Premier League is back in action after its international hiatus and managers will again be considering their transfer moves.

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins went into the break in prime form and is this week's top recommendation in the PA news agency's Transfer Score rankings.

He is joined by a couple of team-mates, including one of England's star performers, while Chelsea also feature heavily in gameweek nine's picks.

Wat's up

Leading FPL attacking picks for gameweek nine
Ollie Watkins is our top recommendation for gameweek nine (PA graphic)

A player's Transfer Score is made up of his recent form, counting for 50 per cent of the rating, with further marks for low cost, ownership and upcoming fixture difficulty rating (FDR).

Watkins is strong in the main category, with three goals in his last two games to follow his hat-trick against Liverpool, and receives a further boost from Villa's upcoming run of games against Brighton, West Ham, Newcastle, Wolves, Burnley, West Brom and Palace.

Indeed, they face no fixture ranked above three on the game's five-point difficulty scale until Chelsea away on December 28 – helping Jack Grealish and Matt Targett also make the top three recommendations at their respective positions.

The former Brentford frontman's transfer score is a league-high 78, leaving him well clear of his nearest rivals among strikers.

Che Adams, left, celebrates scoring against Newcastle
Che Adams, left, could thrive in Danny Ings' absence (Stu Forster/PA)

Southampton's Che Adams is rated at 66, a score which can probably be inflated in managers' minds by the injury absence of the Saints' main man Danny Ings for around a month. Adams has been almost as effective as his more recognised strike partner already, and actually scores slightly higher in the game's Threat rating.

Patrick Bamford (65) completes the attacking podium after seven goals in Leeds' first eight games, including a hat-trick against Villa.

Blue wave

Leading FPL defensive picks for gameweek nine
Kurt Zouma leads the defensive picks (PA graphic)

Chelsea have the top pick in the other two outfield positions, with Kurt Zouma our top defender and Hakim Ziyech leading all midfielders.

Zouma scored his third goal of the season in the 3-0 win at Burnley in gameweek seven and has three clean sheets in his last five games.

Thiago Silva has also been a key figure in the Blues' form but managers considering the Brazilian will have to wait a week, with manager Frank Lampard indicating the 36-year-old will sit out the Saturday lunchtime clash with Newcastle following his international exertions.

But Ben Chilwell looks to have overcome a back problem that affected him on England duty and will look to build on five straight games with either a goal, an assist or a clean sheet – or, in the case of the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace, all three.

He is a popular recent addition and his 28 per cent ownership and £6million price tag keep him out of our top three, with Targett second and Palace's Scott Dann snagging the final place.

Leading midfield picks for FPL gameweek nine
Hakim Ziyech has made an immediate impact (PA graphic)

Ziyech has 25 fantasy points across his first two Premier League starts to compile a transfer score of 71, a hair's breadth behind Silva to rank fifth overall.

He and Grealish (67) sandwich Dann's club-mate Jairo Riedewald (69) on the midfield podium while in goal, West Ham's Lukasz Fabianski ranks second overall behind Watkins on 77 and is joined in the top three by Leicester's Kasper Schmeichel (64) and Wolves' Rui Patricio (62).

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Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish pictured in action against Fulham on September 28, 2020
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