So the second international break has concluded and for Mick McCarthy and Ireland fans, it was one to forget. A drab 0-0 draw against Georgia in Tbilisi on Saturday was followed up by a meek 2-0 defeat in Geneva to Switzerland on Tuesday night.
But with international duty over until November, it is back to the bread and butter of the Premier League and, of course, trying to earn precious Fantasy points for the Advertiser Tribal League in association with Monroe's Tavern. Round nine starts off the next block of games so let's have a look at our top three.
1 Greg Conneely - FC Twente Times - 501
Top of the pile is FC Twente Times. Managed by Greg Conneely, TT have had a superb four weeks garnering 240 points to put them into first place. Ryan Fredicks, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Roberto Firmino have all been key player in the side but undoubtedly the Conneely's main man is Kevin De Bruyne. A goal and assist has contributed to the Belgian taking home 44 Fantasy points from three games. Another quality midfielder and a commanding goalkeeper could see Twente Times be renamed Twente-One Times when the ribbons are put on the trophy come May.
2 Kieran Ryan - TheDodgyTickers - 500
One point behind in second spot is TheDodgyTickers. Kieran Ryan's men had an excellent block of games picking up 265 points, putting them on the brink of reaching the summit. Midfield has been the area of the pitch were the Hearts have really excelled with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, Mason Mount, and Kevin De Bruyne all performing for Ryan. Up top Tammy Abraham and Sergio Agüero have complemented each other with six goals in four rounds. An area where Ryan arguably needs to strengthen is the man who stands between the sticks. A top class goalkeeper added to the squad and TheDodgyTickers could beating fast come May.
3 Brian Murphy - Brian Munich - 498
And in third place is Brian Munich. The blueprint for FC Hollywood's rise is manager Brian Murphy's philosophy of horses for courses. Murphy loves to tinker with his squad and it has produced great results. For example Martín Montaya has only played two of the four games in this block. In those two games he picked up 12 points whereas when he was benched by Murphy, the Spaniard picked up only one point. Similarly, Jorginho garnered 17 points in his three appearances for Brian Munich but when he was benched, he only got two. His management style has worked so far but will it continue to work until May?
Saturday is a new round so who should you select to earn points for the Advertiser Tribal League in association with Monroe's Tavern?
Aaron Connolly (Brighton - £4.5million ) v Aston Villa
Ireland's one great hope, the Oranmore man earned his first two international caps over the past week after some very encouraging displays for club side Brighton. In fact, his performances are certainly more than encouraging as Connolly hit a brace of goals during the Seagulls 3-0 victory over Spurs. This Saturday sees Connolly and co travel up to the Midlands to take on an Aston Villa side who are fresh from thumping Norwich City 5-1. The Villians have performed well since their return to the top flight but are struggling to keep clean sheets. I believe it will be a home win but Connolly will score in a losing cause for Brighton.
Tammy Abraham (Chelsea ) v Newcastle
Fresh off making his competitive international debut for England in the 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic, Tammy Abraham will be back to happier and familiar surrounds of Stamford Bridge this Saturday. The striker has been one of the breakout stars this campaign with eight goals from eight games and shows no signs of slowing down. On Saturday, the Blues host struggling Newcastle in west London. The Magpies under Steve Bruce have endured a difficult start to the season with only two wins from eight attempts and I cannot that record improving at the weekend. Chelsea will win comfortably with Abraham bagging himself a couple of goals. Get him in the team.
Harry Kane (Spurs ) v Watford
It is safe to say it has not been a comfortable couple of weeks for Spurs and manager Mauirico Pochettino. A 7-2 humiliation to Bayern Munich in the Champions League was followed up by a 3-0 capitulation on the south coast to Brighton four days later. Even hitman Harry Kane is having poor season by his standards with only five goals so far. But the men from north London have a great opportunity to get their season back on track when they host woeful Watford at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. To say the Hornets have been dreadful this season would be an understatement. Zero wins, five losses, four goals scored, and 20 conceded see Enrique Sánchez Flores' men rooted to bottom spot. I expect Spurs and Kane to continue Watford's misery this weekend.
Don't miss a minute of action with Monroe's Tavern
Remember you can catch all of game week nine's action live at Monroe's Tavern where punters can enjoy wings and a pint or burger and a pint for €10 during the matches.
Everton v West Ham (12.30pm ) BT Sport.
Chelsea v Newcastle (3pm ) Premier Sports.
Crystal Palace v Man City (5.30pm ) SKY Sports.
Man United v Liverpool (4.30pm ) SKY Sports.
Sheffield United v Arsenal (8pm ) SKY Sports.