Arguably the most hated club owner in Europe, Mike Ashley has dangled Newcastle United (and not for the first time) to a few prospective buyers. Ashley wants the club sold by the New Year, but the HMRC’s pursuit of tax abuses by the club could significantly hamper that forecast. Nonetheless, Rafa and the 50K faithful Geordies who turn up at St. James on Saturday will dare to dream of a future with competent ownership. What does that mean for #EPLdraft? Probably nothing! But with an in-form Zaha coming to town, I like this fixture more than most this weekend.

Let’s get started.

  • Postscript from GW8: The points weren’t rolling in for defenders during Burnley vs. West Ham, but all bets were off when Andy Carroll lost what little mind he has left and was promptly sent off in the 27th minute. Southampton’s overrated fullbacks, Cedric and Ryan Bertrand, were once again outside the top 40 in scoring. On the left, Bertand defers most wing play opportunities to Redmond and despite his quality, the majority of Cedric’s crosses continue to find mostly opposing centrebacks.
  • Studs: Azpilicueta and Davide Zappacosta were terrified every time Wilfried Zaha was on the ball last Saturday and so long as Hodgson slots him in as a left-sided striker, Zaha is a top 10 midfield start, period. When the Clarets travel to the Etihad, they’ll find waiting for them one Leroy Sane who’s proven to be overwhelmingly deserving of the preseason rankers who fancied him as a 4th rounder. In one expert preseason mock, Gottlieb took him in the 2nd round.
  • Duds: In the last two weeks, Dele Alli and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have been scoring points in Steven Defour and Moussa Sissoko territory. If Mkhi can’t get healthy scoring against Huddersfield, he’s firmly in sell-low territory. For both Alli and Mkhi, they’ve feasted on lowly clubs and GW9 will further determine whether they’re season-long assets or trade bait. I’m leaning toward the latter, but there’s a very good chance Liverpool’s defense will make a fool out of me.
 GoalkeepersDefendersMidfieldersForwards
1Lukasz FabianskiAntonio ValenciaKevin de BruyneGabriel Jesus
2David de GeaBen DaviesChristian EriksenRomelu Lukaku
3Fraser ForsterKyle WalkerLeroy SaneHarry Kane
4Hugo LlorisMarcos AlonsoEden HazardMohamed Salah
5Joe HartSead KolasinacPhilippe CoutinhoAlvaro Morata
6Petr CechCesar AzpilicuetaDavid SilvaAlexis Sanchez
7Kasper SchmeichelSerge AurierWilfried ZahaSergio Aguero
8Thibaut CourtoisVirgil van DijkXherdan ShaqiriRaheem Sterling
9EdersonPhil JonesPascal GrossAlexander Lacazette
10Jack ButlandNicolas OtamendiDele AlliAnthony Martial
11Heurelho GomesHector BellerinHenrikh MkhitaryanRoberto Firmino
12Jordan PickfordNacho MonrealMesut OzilTammy Abraham
13Jonas LosslAaron CresswellNathan RedmondManolo Gabbiadini
14Mat RyanDavid LuizCesc FabregasRicharlison
15Asmir BegovicHarry MaguireMichail AntonioPedro
16Rob ElliotJose FonteRiyad MahrezJamie Vardy
17Wayne HennesseyDavide ZappacostaMatt RitchieChicharito
18Simon MignoletKyle NaughtonGylfi SigurdssonMame Biram Diouf
19Nick PopeCharlie DanielsManuel LanziniJoselu
20Boaz MyhillMaya YoshidaTiemoué BakayokoJoshua King
21Jamaal LascellesJordan HendersonChris Wood
22John StonesGranit XhakaWayne Rooney
23Laurent KoscielnyAbdoulaye DoucouréJay Rodriguez
24Christopher SchindlerJuan MataAyoze Perez
25Christian FuchsFabian DelphShane Long
26Martin OlssonMario Lemina
27Alberto MorenoChoupo-Moting
28Simon FrancisGrzegorz Krychowiak
29Davinson SanchezAlex Iwobi
30Jan VertonghenAaron Mooy
31Gary CahillFernandinho
32Ben MeeAaron Ramsey
33Ryan BertrandYohan Cabaye
34Kurt ZoumaTom Carroll
35Pablo ZabaletaCheikhou Kouyate
36Ahmed HegaziMikel Merino
37Matthew LowtonSteven Defour
38Cedric SoaresRobbie Brady
39Michael KeaneAndros Townsend
40Alfie MawsonAnthony Knockaert

This season, our weekly fantasy Premier League ranks are a one-man affair, with Benji Wade taking over the mantle. You can find him on Twitter: .