The best FPL goalkeepers for a Gameweek 9 Wildcard

International breaks are always popular times for Wildcards in Fantasy Premier League (FPL).

Indeed, just under 50 per cent of site readers say they will activate the chip ahead of Gameweek 9, according to our home page sidebar vote.

With this in mind, we’ll be taking a position-by-position look at the best and most discussed options in each category.

The numbers and visuals you see in this piece are from our Premium Members area, where you can access Opta player and team data for every single Premier League fixture.


NICK POPE

Nick Pope (£5.2m) has impressed at Newcastle United following his summer move, keeping three clean sheets in his first seven appearances. In that time, nobody has made more saves (30) or accumulated more bonus points (six) than the 6ft 6in shot-stopper. As a result, he is the top-scoring goalkeeper in FPL, averaging a very decent 5.4 points per match.

Though the sample size is small, it’s also worth noting that Pope has prevented the third-most goals (+1.50 xG Prevented), only trailing Jordan Pickford (£4.5m) and Alisson (£5.4m).

As for Newcastle, they rank sixth-worst for shots conceded (101), yet they have allowed just seven goals. That’s because many of the attempts Pope has faced are tame, low-quality efforts, as captured below.

Above: Newcastle United’s xG shots conceded map 2022/23

Despite losing their clean sheet against Bournemouth last time out, there’s not a great deal wrong with Newcastle’s defence, as only Manchester City have kept more clean sheets this season. They are also ranked seventh for fewest expected goals conceded (xGC).

Now, Pope has the opportunity to stake a claim to be England’s number one in Qatar, which should ensure his focus and level doesn’t drop in the coming weeks.

VICENTE GUAITA

Vicente Guaita (£4.5m) was involved in several key moments in Crystal Palace’s most recent match, a goalless draw with Newcastle, as he made a series of excellent saves.

Now, by the time The Eagles host Chelsea in Gameweek 9, their enforced break from Premier League football will have stretched to four full weeks.

Given that they had a disruptive pre-season, that could be a good thing for Patrick Vieira’s troops, knowing that they will have had plenty of time to work on tactics and defending set-pieces, which they continue to struggle with.

However, the fixture list from Gameweek 10 onwards is about as good as it gets, right through until we pause for the winter World Cup. That suggests Guaita can offer value, providing Vieira doesn’t start rotating his ‘keepers, which did happen on a few occasions last season.

Palace’s 10.64 xGC tally after six matches hardly screams ‘buy me’, nor do their 20 big chances conceded, but Guaita was a crucial part of a Palace defence that conceded just 46 goals in 2021/22, keeping 12 clean sheets in the process.

JORDAN PICKFORD

Jordan Pickford is currently injured, but Frank Lampard hopes he will be fit for Everton’s first match after the international break, away at Southampton.

However, he can be paired with Toffees reserve stopper Asmir Begovic (£4.0m) on a Wildcard, who was called up to replace the England number one on Sunday.

As for Pickford, he has made 26 saves across his opening six matches, with his 20.8 minutes per save tally the best in the division (see below).

In Gameweek 8, Everton recorded their second clean sheet in a row, with their impressive work in the summer transfer window starting to pay off.

Indeed, Amadou Onana (£4.9m) and Idrissa Gana Gueye (£5.0m) have made them more solid in the engine room, while their recruitment of Conor Coady (£4.8m) and James Tarkowski (£4.4m) is equally impressive, with all four of those players looking at ease in Lampard’s new 4-3-3 formation.

Everton have allowed more shots in the box than any other side this season, but only 11 big chances have been conceded. As a result, they have the joint-second best defence in the league, conceding only six goals in seven matches, which notably, is level with Man City.

LUKASZ FABIANSKI

Lukasz Fabianski (£5.0m) and West Ham United haven’t made a great start to the season, with just one win in their first seven outings.

However, despite facing Man City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in that time, they have conceded only nine goals and rank sixth for xGC.

Now, with five of their next eight Premier League fixtures at home, Fabianski looks like one of the better goalkeeper picks on a Wildcard, given that Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace are amongst the lowest scoring teams in the division.

He does face competition from Alphonse Areola (£4.4m), although the Frenchman has been limited to UEFA Europa Conference League run-outs so far.

While there are cheaper options in West Ham’s backline, like Vladimir Coufal (£4.4m) and Kurt Zouma (£4.5m), including one takes up a valuable defender spot, which won’t be for everyone. If that’s you, Fabianski might just be worth a look.

OTHER CANDIDATES

The best FPL goalkeepers for a Gameweek 34 Wildcard 1

At Chelsea, Edouard Mendy (£4.9m) will be a name many Gameweek 9 Wildcarders are considering, it’s just we can’t be 100 per cent sure of his place in the starting XI right now. The Senegalese stopper missed Graham Potter’s first match in charge v Salzburg through injury, with Kepa Arrizabalaga (£4.4m) filling in between the sticks.

However, some have suggested the Spaniards’ superior distribution skills will be favoured by Potter longer-term, with Mendy already succumbing to a few high-profile errors this season. Whoever gets the nod in goal for Chelsea could potentially be a great pick, it’s just at this stage, it’s impossible to know who that will be.

Hugo Lloris (£5.5m) did feature among the main candidates, that’s until he withdrew from the France squad with a thigh injury on Monday. However, if he does recover in time, he could be a shrewd Wildcard pick. That’s because he is usually a week-in, week-out starter, something which may be an issue for Ivan Perisic (£5.6m) and many other Tottenham assets after the international break, with the two-games-a-week schedule set to continue all the way to the World Cup.

Spurs’ approach, meanwhile, has limited their opponents to just six big chances, the fewest in the division, with 51 of their 105 shots faced coming from outside of the box.

Above: Tottenham Hotspur’s xG shots conceded map 2022/23

Elsewhere, having conceded 11 goals in their last two games, Leicester City’s goal difference already sits at -12. In fact, no team has conceded more than Brendan Rodgers’ side (22), who have shipped at least two goals in six of their seven games.

As a result, Danny Ward (£4.0m) is struggling, but he is cheap and has been a regular starter so far, so is still a reasonable pick, providing he is sitting on your bench most weeks. The Foxes do at least face an easier schedule in the coming weeks, too.

David Raya (£4.5m), Bernd Leno (£4.5m) and Jose Sa (£5.0m) are alternative options, although it is hard to put them above some of the ‘keepers included above, while Emiliano Martinez’s (£4.9m) appeal takes a hit, given that Tyrone Mings and Lucas Digne are available for £4.3m and £4.7m respectively.

GAMEWEEK 9-16 POINTS PREDICTIONS: WHAT RMT THINKS

Rate my Team (RMT) is a tool designed to give you an approximation of how many FPL points your team will score over a series of Gameweeks.

Our points projections show algorithm-generated predictions for every FPL player both this Gameweek and in future ones.