That was a pretty depressing week for Irish football. Defeats to England (3-0 ) and Wales (1-0 ), and a dour 0-0 draw with Bulgaria, sees the Republic of Ireland slip further down the world rankings and into pot three for the December draw of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
But there is sanctuary as the international football calendar will not kick off again until March so supporters can content themselves with the Premier League and more importantly, the Advertiser Tribal League.
Before we look at the players who are going to do the business this week, let's have a look at our top three.
1 Donal Carney - Bayerneverlosing - 573
2 Brian Murphy - CHANGE NAME - 567
3 Glean Shearer - ShearClass - 567
Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea - £8.2 million ) v Newcastle
Having missed the start of the season because of an injury picked up during a pre-season friendly against Brighton, the Moroccan international has announced his arrival to the league with a goal and three assists in his last two Premier League outings. The Blues have completely solidified their defence in recent weeks with goalkeeper, Édouard Mendy, only conceding one goal is his first six games. On Saturday, The Blues travel to the north-east to take on Newcastle. The Magpies are so unpredictable with their last five matches seeing two wins, two defeats, and a draw. I believe Chelsea will have too much for the home side and Ziyech will add another goal to his tally. Get him in your team.
Bruno Fernandes (Man United - £10.6 million ) v West Brom
Arguably United's best player since he arrived in January, when Bruno Fernandes is on song, United look like a useful team. The Portuguese midfielder has started the season very well with five goals and three assists in eight games including a brace of goals and an assist against Everton last time out. On Saturday evening, United host lowly West Brom. The Baggies have the joint worst defensive record in the league conceding 17 goals in eight matches and have failed to register a win this term. It will be a United victory at Old Trafford this weekend with Fernandes pulling the strings as per usual.
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa - £7.5 million ) v Brighton
The performances the 25-year-old is putting in for Aston Villa and England on weekly basis only serves to rub salt in Irish supporters' wounds as the FAI failed to capture Jack Grealish. With four goals and six assists in seven matches, Grealish has helped The Villains into fifth place, only three points from the summit, holding a game in hand. On Saturday, Villa host Brighton at Villa Park with the Seagulls languishing in 16th place. Graham's Potter's men have only won once this term and I don't hold out much hope for them as they travel to England's second city. Villa to win and Grealish to be Man of the Match.
Game week nine fixtures
Newcastle v Chelsea (12.30pm ) BT Sport.
Aston Villa v Brighton (3pm ) BT Sport / Premier Sports.
Spurs v Man City (5.30pm ) SKY Sports.
Man United v West Brom (8pm ) BT Sport.
Fulham v Everton (12 noon ) BBC.
Sheffield United v West Ham (2pm ) SKY Sports.
Leeds v Arsenal (4.30pm ) SKY Sports.
Liverpool v Leicester City (7.15pm ) SKY Sports.
Burnley v Crystal Palace (5.30pm ) SKY Sports.
Wolves v Southampton (8pm ) SKY Sports.