The Best Defensive Options – A look at Chelsea, Stoke and Man Utd
Game Week 17 – The defenders
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Everyone (including me) was expecting a points bonanza in game week 16 but it simply wasn’t the case. The average points scored were just 51 which is not a lot considering the points scored by Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, meaning the rest of most people’s teams performed averagely at best. One area that did bring some joy last week was the defence with clean sheets for Crystal Palace, West Ham, Stoke, Watford and Arsenal bringing a much needed boost to many teams including my own. I did sit here and predict three weeks ago that it was a good time to jump on the Watford defensive bandwagon and Nyom duly obliged last week with the clean sheet, assist and all 3 bonus points.
So the question is, where should we be looking defensively for the next few games. With Leicester and Watford’s fixtures taking a turn for the worse I want to take a look at the defenders that offer good value and good potential for the clean sheet over the next few weeks.
Kurt Zouma – Chelsea (£5.4m)
At just £5.4m and with over 9 consecutive starts in the Premier League, Zouma is a pretty decent pick. Back to back home games await with Sunderland heading to Stamford Bridge in GW17 followed by Watford on Boxing Day.
Although Chelsea have looked vulnerable and pretty weak going forwards they have still managed 4 clean sheets in their last 6 games and the two fixtures coming up have clean sheets written all over them. Zouma will be a popular pick and he is one that I am seriously considering.
Phillip Wollscheid – Stoke City (£4.4m)
The player that I put in my personal team last week reaped massive reward for me and he is one that is benefiting (in terms of FPL points) from a good run in the team during a good run of form. Everyone is talking about Jack Butland (and rightly so) but Wollscheid has still only been selected by 2.7% of managers. If you need a cheap defender then he is your man. Stoke also have two home games in the next two game weeks facing Crystal Palace in GW17 followed by Man Utd in GW18. Neither of those fixtures should pose too much worry for Stoke and their success is built upon their defence – something that will hopefully continue in to the new year.
Guillermo Varela – Man Utd (£4.2m)
A slightly more risky proposition is Varela who has found a starting place in the United line up due to the absence of Darmian. Varela has not looked particularly out of place and if he keeps his place in to the Christmas period he could pick up some clean sheet points with Norwich City and Stoke City the next two opponents for the Red Devils. The risk here is that LVG will bring one of his more experienced players back in – but with the back four being so stretched at the moment in terms of injury, it could be a risk worth taking.
We have even more FPL game week 17 tips here and you must check out the GW17 Podcast if you haven’t already. We have plenty more articles plus the podcast extra in our members only section and you can save 15% this week using promo code SAVE15 – that get’s you one year’s full membership for just £7.65!