Aubameyang over Ronaldo? Five fantasy football questions answered ahead of Gameweek 9

Manchester United have continued to struggle despite Ronaldo’s return, and with two north London strikers rediscovering form, is it time to replace the 36-year-old?

Liverpool's Mo Salah bagged another 13 points for his owners last weekend after scoring and assisting against Watford, but it was Roberto Firmino who stole the show with a hat-trick against the Hornets.

Elsewhere, Leicester dismantled Manchester United 4-2 at the King Power Stadium, with Jamie Vardy notching again to take him joint-top of the scoring charts.

Newcastle United's takeover buzz was silenced by Spurs, and Arsenal managed to salvage a late point against Crystal Palace.

So what does all that mean for Fantasy Premier League managers? We answer five standout questions ahead of Gameweek 9.

Are Vardy and Aubameyang better value than Ronaldo?

Jamie Vardy Leicester City Sep21

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missing the start of Arsenal's season hardly helped them as they  slumped to the foot of the table, and his return has shown just how impactful he is.

On Patrick Vieira's return to the Emirates Stadium on Monday night, Aubameyang netted his third goal of the season to take him level in the charts with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Perhaps going under the radar, Aubameyang has been Arsenal's focal point, surrounded by energetic youngsters eager to feed him the ball.

As Mikel Arteta's side continue to grow into the season, Aubameyang could prosper for the Gunners and is well be worth considering for our fantasy sides.

His lack of ownership (2.5%) has meant his price has plummeted down to just £9.9million, and with a favourable run of fixtures on the horizon, owning him becomes even more appealing.

Up next for Arsenal is a visit from Aston Villa, before facing Leicester City and then Watford - with no European distractions, Aubameyang could flourish.

In comparison, Ronaldo's impact has dwindled at United, despite his European heroics against Villarreal and Atalanta.

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo during the Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester.

In the Premier League he remains stuck on three goals, and the legendary Portuguese forward may find it even harder in the coming weeks as United endure a torrid run of fixtures.

Just last week, Jamie Vardy (£10.6million) outshone Ronaldo as his Leicester side stormed to a 4-2 win, and his late goal took his scoring tally to seven - joint top with Mohamed Salah.

Now the highest scoring forward in the game, Vardy is showing Ronaldo that he isn't the only ageless striker in the league, and the 34-year-old is becoming hard to ignore.

We mentioned last week that Ronaldo has a knack for stealing headlines in blockbuster fixtures, but for those running out of patience with the Portuguese star, both Vardy and Aubameyang could help you quickly get over losing him.

Can Edouard mend your defence?

Edouard Mendy, goalkeeper, Chelsea, Brentford, Premier League

Despite immense pressure from Brentford at the weekend, Chelsea held out to win 1-0, and Edouard Mendy showed again why he is one of the best in the league.

The Senegalese shot-stopper was in fine form at the Brentford Community Stadium, and earned himself not only a clean sheet, but three bonus points.

And, with six saves to his name it's easy to see why. Having just conceded three goals all season, is it time we turn our focus to Mendy?

In short, absolutely. The 29-year-old has consistently showed his class this season, and he looks nailed on to retain his spot between the sticks.

Chelsea's stalwart defence has inevitably attracted plenty of fantasy managers to invest in Thomas Tuchel's backline, but there's plenty of reasons why Mendy should be top of your list.

With Chelsea aiming to compete both domestically and in Europe this season, Tuchel will be forced to rotate his side in the coming weeks.

That immediately leaves the likes of Thiago Silva (£5.5million), Andreas Christensen (£5.1million) and Antonio Rudiger (£5.8million) vulnerable. Add to the mix the ongoing competition between Marcos Alonso and Ben Chilwell, and picking a Chelsea asset becomes even harder.

It leaves Mendy as one of the only nailed on Chelsea defenders you can bring in, and despite his hefty £6.1million price tag, he's already shown his capability for scoring bonus points.

With Norwich, Newcastle and Burnley up next for the Blues, more clean sheets are on the way for Chelsea and Mendy is your best route to profiting from them.

Should Salah be captain against Man Utd?

Probably the most in-form player in the world right now, Mohamed Salah has been unstoppable since the start of this season, and his brace against Atletico Madrid midweek extended his scoring run to nine consecutive games.

Even when fellow forward Roberto Firmino stole the headlines with a hat-trick against Watford, Salah chipped in with a superb goal and assist, racking up 13 points in the process.

Right now he's undroppable and by far the best asset to own in fantasy. He leads the way in terms of ownership with 64.6%, but even that number seems low considering his form.

Choosing which of your players gets the prestigious armband for the weekend has been made a whole lot easier through Salah's unbeatable form of late, but with arch-rivals Manchester United around the corner, is it still a straightforward choice?

Well, looking at his record against the Red Devils, alongside a quick glance at United's recent form, we'd say so.

The Egyptian star has only netted twice against Liverpool's bitter rivals in the Premier League, but both came in recent fixtures, including one in their last meeting in May.

Having now broken his scoring duck at Old Trafford, the pressure is off Salah and he can look forward to reaching a 10th consecutive scoring game in style on Sunday.

To add to his chances, United's much-vaunted title challenge looks over before it barely began. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is struggling to get the best out of his star-studded side, and the defence looks leaky.

Already some of Europe's best back-lines - Manchester City and Atletico Madrid - have become victims of Salah's sorcery, so United's injury-stricken defence looks in for a torrid time.

While Chelsea's clash with Norwich may make Romelu Lukaku an attractive choice, the Belgian's injury midweek against Malmo has further consolidated Salah as the favourite to get the armband this weekend.

Does Son's shining form make him a steal?

After a turbulent few weeks, Tottenham seem to be rediscovering their league form and they will be mightily relieved to see Harry Kane back on the scoresheet.

Alongside Kane, Heung-Min Son scored his fourth of the season to cap off a dramatic 3-2 win over Newcastle United, and the South Korean is well worth considering.

Son's 51 total points makes him the second-highest scoring midfielder this season behind only Salah, yet the 29-year-old is only in 14.9% of fantasy sides.

If Kane is able to rediscover his form, then it only spells good news for owners of Son, who so often links up with his striking partner.

Difficult games against West Ham, Manchester United and Everton are on the horizon for Spurs, but having already hauled big points against Manchester City, Arsenal and Aston Villa this season, Son is not shy of big fixtures.

His £10.1million price tag is not on the cheap side, but for any managers looking to offload the out-of-form Ronaldo and Lukaku, Son is a fitting replacement.

Which Newcastle United players can benefit from a new manager and owners?

Allan Saint Maximin, Newcastle United vs Leeds United, Premier League

It's impossible to avoid them right now. Newcastle United's controversial takeover has flooded the news and provoked curiosity in all soccer fans.

Who will they splash the cash on? Who will take charge? Will they even survive this season?

Steve Bruce's departure following his 1,000th game in management has opened the door for an elite manager to take the reins at St James' Park, with Paulo Fonseca a strong favourite.

As they head into a kind run of fixtures, the Magpies will be looking to harness the buzz surrounding the club for a lot longer than two minutes and their striking department is where our interest lies.

Allan Saint-Maximin has already enjoyed a fantastic start to the season with two goals and three assists, and is undoubtedly Newcastle's go-to man in attack.

Being named as a forward as opposed to a midfielder in fantasy this season raised some eyebrows, but the Frenchman has still brought in 39 points, making him the fourth-highest scoring attacker.

At just £6.8million, it's worth bringing in Saint-Maximin sooner rather than later before his price is hiked up due to mass interest.

Elsewhere, Callum Wilson (£7.3million) marked his return to fitness with an early goal against Spurs, taking his season tally to three despite only making four appearances.

As Newcastle look to escape the relegation zone, Wilson will be pivotal to his new manager in the coming weeks. Fantasy managers should make sure they can reap the benefits, too.

READ MORE: Odds slashed on Paulo Fonseca to take the reins at Newcastle; Zidane and Conte unrealistic

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