The Defensive Watchlist – Gameweek 8

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the watchlist

With a renewed vigor in his approach to team value @liambednarski reviews those who returned points in GW8 in the hope of uncovering an early bandwagon.

The Watchlist – Goalkeepers

Tom Heaton (4.6) has racked up the most save points of any goalkeeper this season. Returned 5 points without a clean sheet this week. Buy.

Lee Grant (4.0) Was solid against Sunderland with his job security secure until late November with favorable fixtures ahead. Buy.

Jordan Pickford (4.0) the shot stopping machine was not as busy as normal due to Stoke City missing the target on a number of occasions. Remains one of the top value options. Buy.

The Ponder – Goalkeepers

Maarten Stekelenburg (5.1) had the game of his career saving two penalties and denying Manchester City on a number of other occasions. Monitor.

The Mid Price – Goalkeepers

Loris Karius (4.9) obtained his first clean sheet in what was a sharp performance against Manchester United, favourable fixtures ahead. Strong Monitor.

Kasper Schmeichel (5.0) the champions have shown great resolve in front of their own fans especially when Kasper has been fit. Light Monitor.

Other – Goalkeepers

Ben Foster (4.7) racked up a number of saves against Tottenham for a 4 point total. Has difficult fixtures ahead and with budget keepers available it is time for him to leave your side. Sell.

Artur Boruc (4.6) his team scored six yet he still conceded one, his fixtures remain somewhat kind but Bouremouth defenders offer better value. Avoid.

The Watchlist – Defenders

The amount of clean sheets has begun to turn slightly in our favour with five recorded in GW8 to bolster the generally small totals on offer this weekend.

Invest in Chelsea

Chelsea are beginning to show defensive form under the management of Antonio Conte having settled on a 3-4-3 formation.

Marcus Alonso (5.9) is bombing down the left as a wing-back in this new formation and looks a potential source of points. Strongly Consider.

David Luiz (6.0) was on set pieces with Willian out of the side, rattling the crossbar with a fierce strike in the contest. Strongly Consider.

Cesar Azpilicueta (6.0) role is secure in the back-three although not a source of attacking points in this new role. Consider.

Gary Cahill (6.0) the central-defenders form has not been inspiring this season with John Terry (5.4) likely to challenge his role. Monitor.

Defensive Derby

Jose Mourinho bought his defensive style of play to Anfield securing a point and another clean sheet whilst Liverpool managed to collect their first of the season.

Antonio Valenica (5.6) the experienced player looks to have the exclusive rights to the right-back role, in a defensive side. Strongly Consider.

Danny Blind (5.6) is proving a source of points from left-back but will face rotation from Luke Shaw (5.5) at some point, remain wary. Monitor.

Joel Matip (5.4) remains the standout option in the Liverpool defense given his injury record, place in the side and threat from set pieces. Strongly Consider.

Dejan Lovren (4.9) is at more appropriate price but we wary of his never ending injury issues. Monitor.

Nathaniel Clyne (5.5) has overcome a recent knee injury and obtained his first bonus of the season in a nine point haul. Not prone to attacking returns I would look elsewhere (Matip). Light Monitor.

Ignore the Spotlight – Defenders

There has been quite a bit of speculation on the merits of the North London defences over the past week with attacking points currently headed the way of Arsenal and Tottenham defenders.

My views on Kyle Walker (6.0) have been turned by the excellent Seb Stafford-Bloor who has highlighted his recent development.

Although the fixtures ahead are tough so investing your pennies elsewhere is perhaps wise given Toby Alderweireld (6.5) knee injury. Light Monitor.

That said he remains the stronger option over Danny Rose (5.9) who has faced rotation in recent weeks. Avoid.

A mixed bag of fixtures ahead at Arsenal a defence which always carries a free form element with a high defensive line is prone to leaking goals.

Arsenal do accumulate clean sheets across the campaign but the predictability is quite low. Laurent Koscielny (6.3) is the best route into the Arsenal defence, although attacking points won’t come every week. Consider.

Time to Go

Leighton Baines (5.5) given the regular injury issues in the last 12 months without kind fixtures ahead it may be time to get rid of the left-back. Sell.

The Mid Price – Defenders

 Wes Morgan (5.0) as well as Robert Huth (5.0) continue to present interesting options this season. They have conceded only one goal at home in four matches this season. Monitor.

The Budget – Defenders –

Jose Holebas (4.6) smashed home a wonder goal as an attacking left back, proving to be a must have this season in an inconsistent defence. Buy.

Erik Pieters (4.4) his side have turned a corner with an improvement in form and fixtures, an accumulator of yellow cards he still looks an option over the next month. Buy.

Adam Smith (4.7) picked up an assist in the 6-1 win over Hull City with another strong performance. Strongly Monitor.

The Punt – Defenders –

George Friend (4.5) has accumulated bonus points when his side haven’t even accumulated a clean sheet. His sides lack of cutting edge going forward has hampered their excellent defence but they could turn things around. Monitor.

Others – Defenders

Aaron Cresswell (5.3) his back with a bang, picking up one of the most unfortunate red cards I have seen in recent times along with an assist. Strong Monitor.

Phil Jagielka (5.1) has age is beginning to show given away two clumsy penalties against Manchester City. A superb defender in his prime he is definitely on the downward curve. Avoid.

Jordi Amat (4.1) the 5th defender of choice may even rise in price even though he was poor against Arsenal under new management. Monitor.

Defence is not an area you want to be making regular trades in so the number of options here is normally a selection of the very best.

 With the low number of clean sheets this season it is extremely difficult to make general recommendations. As ever patience with your key defenders is important.

 Please leave your questions, any players you mention in your comments will receive a profile in the section below.

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