Friday, October 19, 2018

Best Picks for Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 36 – Goalkeepers and Defenders

Dan Steeden in Editorial, English Premier League 26 Apr 2018

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Gameweek 36 follows on from last week’s depleted fixture list, meaning that we are back into the swing of things and heading towards the home stretch for the season. With just three gameweeks left it is now or never for many people who want to climb to the top of their leagues, so it could be time to take a few risks. Hopefully this Best Picks article, part one of which focuses on goalkeepers and defenders, can help you find some glory.

Goalkeepers

Budget Option: Martin Dubravka (4.5m)

There are some intriguing fixtures involving some of the lesser teams this weekend and one of the most appealing involves Newcastle. The Magpies have been quietly getting on with it this season in the midst of ownership issues and they have the best defensive record of any team not in the top seven. This week they get a promising clash against bottom of the table West Brom at St James’ Park, who have netted just 29 goals all season, and Dubravka is a cheap and reliable starting option.

Premium Option: Ederson (5.7m)

Amidst all of their remarkable success and attacking prowess this season, Manchester City have also kept 16 clean sheets, conceding just 25 goals this season. With a game against struggling West Ham this weekend it looks as if that tally could increase again, mainly because the Hammers are so wildly inconsistent and unreliable. Ederson is one of the cheaper ways into the Cityzens’ back line and he is a guaranteed starter, making the Brazilian one of the best options for gameweek 36.

Defenders

Budget Option: James Tarkowski (4.6m)

Burnley are actually on a slightly bad run of defensive performances and are without a clean sheet in their last five games. They have however conceded just 32 goals this season and have been one of the best defensive sides offering budget options. The Clarets should be able to get back on track this weekend as they take on low scoring Brighton at Turf Moor. The Seagulls have netted just four goals in their last six games across all competitions, so Burnley, and more specifically Tarkowski, present an attractive option this week.

Premium Option: Cesar Azpilicueta (6.9m)

Chelsea have been a complete mess this season and it’s a miracle that they are still anywhere near challenging for a top four finish, especially given how erratic their form has been. One shining light in their back line however is Azpilicueta, who has contributed two goals and six assists, as well as providing a clean sheet possibility as the Blues do have some good weeks. A clash with Swansea could constitute a good week as the Swans have scored just 27 goals this season.

Premium Option: Ben Davies (5.8m) 

Like Azpilicueta, Davies has been an impressive attacking force this season, registering two goals and seven assists of his own, and surprisingly Tottenham have kept the same number of clean sheets as Chelsea during this campaign. They have however felt a lot more reliable and predictable, which is valuable in FPL, so a game against mid table Watford should bring with it a predictable and comfortable win. Davies is relatively cheap for how prolific he is, and I like him as an option this weekend.

Bonus Tips

There are some great fixtures for some of the top teams this week, but Jurgen Klopp rested players last weekend for the Champions League and he will likely do that again this time around. If your team is packed full of Reds then consider some alternatives elsewhere.

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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