Friday, May 29, 2020

Best Picks for Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 32 – Goalkeepers and Defenders

Dan Steeden in Editorial, English Premier League 29 Mar 2018

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Easter is upon us, which means rabbits, eggs, chocolate and, more importantly, football. The Premier League is back after an intriguing, if fairly unnecessary, international break that saw England continue their uninspiring run of not reallt doing anything at all. FPL should cheer us all up however and in this article we’re looking at goalkeepers and defenders for gameweek 32.

Goalkeepers

Budget Option: Martin Dubravka (4.5m) 

A lot of credit must go to Rafa Benitez for making Newcastle into an even remotely successful team this season, especially after the fiasco of the January transfer window in the middle of a change in ownership. One of the Magpies’ acquisitions was Martin Dubravka, who has already usurped both Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow as the starting goalkeeper. In his four starts the Slovakian has registered two clean sheets, and a game against struggling Huddersfield should provide a good opportunity to grab a third shutout.

Premium Option: David de Gea (5.9m)

Obviously the highest-scoring FPL goalkeeper is a decent option, but this weekend Manchester United host Swansea for a game that looks like it will provide a nailed-on clean sheet. The Red Devils have conceded just 23 goals all season, while the Swans have scored just 25 in 30 games, as well as failing to find the back of the net in their last two games across all competitions. As one of the most reliable goalkeeping options in the game, De Gea should be a safe bet this week.

Premium Option to AVOID: Thibaut Courtois (5.4m) 

Though he remains in the top seven FPL goalkeepers in the league, Courtois is far from a reliable option on a week-to-week basis. Chelsea have conceded 11 goals in their last six Premier League games, losing four of those and registering just one clean sheet. Add to that the fact that the Belgian shot stopper has a niggling hamstring issue and you’re in for a risky time this weekend should you start him, especially given the fact that the Blues host London rivals Tottenham.

Defenders

Budget Option: James Tarkowski (4.5m)

After a decent showing for England, James Tarkowski’s stock is rising and he is an excellent FPL option as one of Burnley’s cheaper defenders. The Clarets have been a defensive revelation this season, conceding just 26 goals all season, and they registered a clean sheet last time out against West Ham. A clash with bottom of the table West Brom, who have scored just five goals in their last seven games and have been generally awful this season, should mean yet another shutout for Sean Dyche’s side.

Premium Option: Nicolas Otamendi (6.4m)

With the insane number of goals that Manchester City have scored this season, their hugely impressive defensive record has gone somewhat under the radar. The Cityzens have conceded just 20 goals in their 30 Premier League games, making them the stingiest defence in the top-flight, which explains how they have been so utterly dominant. Otamendi has been fairly prolific in a goal scoring sense for a centre half, having netted four goals, and he could grab another against a poor Everton side.

Premium Option to AVOID: Kieran Trippier (5.2m) 

Like Tarkowski, Kieran Trippier featured a lot for England, but unlike the Burnley man, the Tottenham fullback gets rotated frequently by manager Mauricio Pochettino. His minutes during the international break could thus see him rested for Spurs, and even if he does play the defender will have to face Chelsea. As bad as the Blues have been this season, London derbies can be unpredictable and it might be safer to avoid this game altogether.

Bonus Tips

After an international break there’s bound to be injuries, form and fitness issues swirling around various players, especially with fixtures coming thick and fast at this stage of the season. Keep on top of the news.

Don’t ignore the sides nearer the bottom of the table. This late in the season they are fighting for survival and form can go out the window. Maybe you’ll find yourself a hidden gem to help you muster a last surge up your league table.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Steeden


Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

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