The international break has finally ended and with the Premier League returning to action this weekend, we can all turn our focus back to managing our FPL teams. Due to the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, a lot of FPL managers have opted to go for their wildcards, changing their teams completely.
Regardless of whether you have chosen to play your wildcard, having good and reliable defenders is a must for your teams to score well. Let us have a look at some of the best options to have in your defense for the upcoming Gameweek:
LUKE SHAW (£5.5M) [NEW, (A)]
In Gameweek 4, Manchester United takes on Newcastle United (H), in one of the weekend’s most winnable games. Newcastle has only had an xG of 3.1 thus far (13th) and will face their biggest challenge yet. They could find it difficult to produce against the Red Devils, particularly now that Raphael Varane (£5.5m) has reinforced the defence. It will undoubtedly stiffen up their defence, making Luke Shaw a stronger candidate.
Manchester United have allowed 16 Shots in the Box (2nd), 12 Shots on Target (6th), and an xGC of 3.6 (8th). In Gameweek 3, Shaw and United earned their maiden clean sheet of the season. With an xA of 0.55, the left-back has generated 5 Chances and 1 Big Chance thus far. He’ll probably get a lot of attacking returns because he’ll be on corners and maybe also on free kicks. This is a favourable matchup for the left-back because it allows him to contribute both offensively and defensively.
SERGIO REGUILON (£5.2M) [CRY, (A)]
Spurs have three clean sheets in their opening three games, are now the only team in the league without conceding a goal. They did, however, have an xGC of 3.9 (11th). As a result, they’ve been incredibly lucky. They do, however, have a favourable matchup this week. Crystal Palace, who have only scored two goals thus far and have an xG of 2.3, are in 18th place. They also have the fewest shots in the box (15) and the fewest shots on target (5).
Reguilón is Spurs’ finest defensive element regarding FPL. He had six assists in his 26 games last season and has the greatest creativity numbers among their defenders. Tottenham also has a solid defense that will secure a number of clean sheets this season. Nuno Espirito Santo was known for not surrendering goals during his time at Wolves, and it appears that he is using the same method with his current side. The North London team finished fifth last season with 12 clean sheets and is likely to improve on that tally this season.
TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD (£7.5M) [LEE, (A)]
Trent Alexander-Arnold is off to a fantastic start this season. He has two clean sheets and one assist on his record. Also, he has 15 Chances (1st), 3 Big Chances (1st), and an xA of 1.76 (2nd). His numbers have been outstanding, and is set to have another brilliant season ahead of him. In Gameweek 4, Liverpool will face Leeds United. Although this match isn’t ideal for keeping a clean sheet, it’s ideal for Alexander-Arnold’s prospects of scoring more points due to attacking contributions.
Having said that, the Reds seem more than qualified of holding Leeds at bay, particularly now that Virgil Van Dijk (£6.5m) has returned. Also, with Trent on corners and free kicks, he has a good chance of scoring attacking contributions against any opponent.
RAPHAEL VARANE (£5.5M) [NEW, (A)]
Raphael Varane scored 12 points in FPL GW3. A clean sheet, three points, and an assist summarized Raphael Varane’s flawless introduction at Manchester United, as he seamlessly fitted into United’s back four in their 1-0 triumph against Wolves. Varane was indeed a rock at the back for United for 90 minutes as the Red Devils battled to handle Wolves’ threat, but his experience and tactical ability were crucial to United’s clean sheet.
When Mason Greenwood scored the game-winning goal for United, the French defender provided the assist, ensuring the defender earned three bonus points on his debut and a total of 12 points for his 2.3% ownership. Despite being a centre-back, Varane is definitely an offensive threat due to his scoring prowess in corners and his ability to produce long balls from his own half to set up goals and with Cristiano Ronaldo in the side, this could be a problem with teams when United are on counters.
KIERAN TIERNEY (£4.9M) [NOR, (H)]
Arsenal(H) takes on Norwich City in Gameweek 4 in one of the weekend’s most attractive matchups. Norwich has a low xG of 3.1 and will meet Arsenal in what may be one of the most interesting games for Arsenal fans this season. Arsenal may have the leagues lowest xG and highest xGA, but the club’s game and transfer strategy appear to be on the right track.
Takehiro Tomiyasu’s recent acquisition from Bologna appears to be only an occurrence to prove the above argument. With the addition of the defensive right back, Kieran Tierney on the left side may be given more freedom to support Arsenal up front and provide a consistent threat for the Gunners. Tierney’s set-piece and free-kick duties make him a solid choice, and a good run of matches ahead of him could prove useful to your FPL teams.