Unlike the midfield slots where FPL managers are spoilt for choices. There are only seven Premium defenders in Fantasy Premier League this season. The premium price range is £6.0m and above with some pretty well-known names in that club.
The Premium defender spot is one that you don’t want to change in FPL. Having a solid ‘set and forget’ pick who you can play pretty much every game is the ideal scenario. A ‘set and forget’ pick is a player you select for all, or most, of the Premier League season. It’s not a position where you typically want to chop and change.
With this in mind, I’ve made a slight tweak to this list by including Manchester United’s Luke Shaw. Although the English international is priced at £5.5m, with the inclusion of Raphaël Varane, the United backline is expected to play further up the pitch, thus significantly increasing the chances of Shaw’s price sky-rocketing after the first couple of Gameweeks.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the 5 best premium defenders you can pick in your Fantasy Premier League squads.
#5 Luke Shaw (£5.5m) | Manchester United
Luke Shaw had a breakthrough season during the 20/21 campaign and showed us what he’s capable of when given a consistent run of games. In only 30 starts, he created 72 Chances (2nd) and seven Big Chances (6th) while picking up one goal and five assists (5th).
At the start of last season when Manchester United signed Alex Telles (£5.0m) most (including myself) thought it was the end for him. Yet the English fullback earned back his place as the number one left-back for the Red Devils. Man United kept 10 clean sheets while only conceding 44 goals (5th). They have a decent defensive record and Shaw provides that attacking threat down the left wing in abundance.
At £5.5m, I think he is the best United defensive pick especially as Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka come in at the same price and offer less when compared to Shaw’s attacking outputs.
United have a fantastic set of fixtures to begin their season with. In the first eight, they play Leeds United, Southampton, Wolves, Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Everton. I can see both defensive and attacking returns for Shaw in this run.
Also Read – TOP 5 BUDGET DEFENDERS FOR 21/22 FPL SEASON
#4 Andy Robertson (£7.0m) | Liverpool
Liverpool’s raiding left-back finished the 20/21 season as the Top FPL defender scoring 161 Points with 12 Clean sheets, one goal and providing eight assists. He also ranked 1st for touches in the final third of the opponent’s half as well as touches inside the penalty area (99). Robertson came second for the xGi (7.39) behind his teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold.
When you look at his stats from the previous two seasons in 18/19 and 19/20. The Scottish international provided 12 assists in the 18/19 season scoring 213 FPL points while he accumulated 181 FPL points in Liverpool’s title-winning campaign in 19/20.
However, Andy Robertson could be out for a month after picking up an injury in Liverpool‘s 1-1 pre-season friendly draw with Athletic Club. After falling awkwardly on his ankle while challenging Alex Berenguer for the ball, the left-back was assisted off the pitch by medical staff.
But Virgil Van Dijk’s comeback and the potential partnership with Ibrahima Konaté should positively affect the whole team structure with their midfield likely to dominate games which provide both Trent and Robertson more freedom.
#3 João Cancelo (£6.0m) | Manchester City
The Portuguese international João Cancelo had a stellar season and provided more attacking threats than any other City defender, often part of City’s three-man shield in front of the centre-backs. He scored two goals and accumulated four assists with 35 Shots, 11 Shots on Target, 15 Shots in the Box while also creating 45 Chances and nine Big Chances.
To put this into context, Cancelo was injured for the first three games and was benched on seven occasions in the league, so he posted all these statistics in only 27 starts.
When deciding on going for a City defender, you have to take into consideration your team structure. If you like to spread the cash and have a strong squad then they are good options. For those who like to squeeze all their money into the starting 11, you may want to think twice.
Not only do City have great opening fixtures but they are almost fixture proof. They play Norwich, Arsenal, Southampton and Burnley in their first four home games and it can’t get much better than this.
Also Read – TOP 10 DIFFERENTIAL PICKS FOR 21/22 FPL SEASON
#2 Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) | Chelsea
Since Thomas Tuchel took charge of Chelsea football club, they have transformed into one of the best defensive units in the league. After taking the job midway through the season, he managed to secure a top-four finish, reach the final of the FA Cup and win the Champions League.
The Blues kept 18 clean sheets (2nd) and only conceded 36 goals (2nd). What’s even more impressive is this was achieved after a poor start to the season under Frank Lampard. The Chelsea full-backs offer attacking potential too with Tuchel’s much favoured 3-4-2-1 system.
In 27 starts, Chilwell managed an impressive three goals and six assists with 27 Shots, 10 Shots on Target, 22 Shots in the Box and four Big Chances while creating 30 Chances and two Big Chances.
And while Chelsea have considerably underperformed their xG in the Premier League much of it was down to poor finishing from their forwards. With Romelu Lukaku added to bolster their forward line, Chilwell can have a great season in terms of attacking output.
#1 Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) | Liverpool
Just like Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold didn’t have the best season by his high standards, managing two goals and eight assists. When compared against his outputs from seasons prior, he accumulated four goals and 15 assists in 2019/20 and one goal and 13 assists in 2018/19.
Liverpool’s poor season was a major contributing factor to Trent’s poor form as the scousers just managed to scrape a top-four finish on the final day.
What is promising though is his underlying statistics remain elite and I wouldn’t bet against Trent producing some of his previous attacking returns. He had 55 Shots (1st among defenders in the Premier League), 12 Shots on Target (3rd) while also creating 77 Chances (1st) and 14 Big Chances (1st).
Although Liverpool only kept 12 clean sheets (5th) compared to 15 (2nd) in 2019/20 and 21 (1st) in 2018/19. I can’t see them having anywhere near as bad a season as the last. Also, I like their opening fixtures. They play Norwich, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Brentford and Watford during their first eight games which suits him both from an attacking and defensive standpoint.