Monday, December 10, 2018

Best Picks for FPL Gameweek 13: Goalkeepers and Defenders

Dan Steeden in Editorial, English Premier League 23 Nov 2017

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Gameweek 13 presents a lack of decent matchups for budget FPL players, as well as an abundance of high profile injuries, both of which contribute to one big fantasy headache for managers. Luckily the Best Picks series is back, and part one will help you sift through goalkeepers and defenders that can help you soar to the top of your leagues.


Budget Option: Asmir Begovic (4.5m)

Before the season started Begovic was one of the value picks for many FPL owners due to his clear talent and Bournemouth’s other impressive defensive purchases. However when actual football was played the Cherries decided to inexplicably become an awful team, making Begovic a bad FPL asset. Luckily Eddie Howe’s side seem to be getting back on the right track now, and back to back wins and clean sheets is incredibly promising. This weekend they face a Swansea side that has scored just seven goals in 12 Premier League games, meaning that Bournemouth’s clean sheet streak should continue.

Budget Option: Heurelho Gomes (4.5m) 

This may seem likely fairly counterintuitive advice given that Watford have conceded 21 times already in this league campaign, but by god is Heurelho Gomes a talented goalkeeper. The Brazilian shot stopper was the hero of the Hornets’ 2-0 win over West Ham last week, pulling off some sensational saves to keep his side in the game. This week he lines up against Newcastle, who are having trouble scoring consistently. Even if Gomes doesn’t earn you a clean sheet this week, you can be sure that he’ll make up for it with save points.

Premium Option: Hugo Lloris (5.5m)

Tottenham ran our as 2-0 losers in last weekend’s North London derby, which came as a surprise to many, but they should bounce back fairly quickly, especially following a brilliant 1-2 away win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Jan Vertonghen should be back for Spurs’ home clash with West Brom, which makes goalkeeper Hugo Lloris an appealing pick for this gameweek. The Baggies have netted just nine times in the league this season, and Tottenham’s defence is incredibly stingy.

Premium Option to AVOID: Thibaut Courtois (5.4m)

Chelsea are having a relatively good season defensively, conceding less than a goal per game on average, but this week they travel to Anfield to take on a Liverpool side that scores goals for fun. The Blues are coming off a 0-4 away win at Qarabag in midweek, and the clash with Liverpool comes as soon as Saturday, which is a fairly quick turnaround. I’d trust the Chelsea attackers this week, but I’d be sceptical of whether the defence can muster a clean sheet against the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.


Budget Option: Cedric Soares (4.9m)

The Saints have been a boring team to watch this season, but that tends to make for a decent return when it comes to FPL defenders. Unfortunately that hasn’t really been the case as Southampton have leaked 14 goals so far, but they have been good for four clean sheets in this campaign. There is a decent chance that Cedric can add a fifth to that tally as he faces a struggling Everton side at St Mary’s. The Toffees’ troubles are well documented, and with no new manager in the dugout yet their poor form will likely continue.

Premium Option: Antonio Valencia (6.7m)

Despite having the best statistical defence in the Premier League this season, Manchester United are actually gong through somewhat of a poor patch of form. Jose Mourinho’s side are without a clean sheet in their last three games in all competitions, and two of those fixtures have ended in losses for the Red Devils. A home clash against Brighton provides a good opportunity to bounce back however, and Antonio Valencia represents the most consistent player in the United defence. The Ecuadorian is always a threat from the wide areas, and it is only a matter of time before the assists start rolling in.

Premium Option to AVOID: Sead Kolasinac (6.0m) 

To their credit Arsenal kept a clean sheet in last week’s North London derby when few expected them to, and on paper an away game against Burnley looks like a tasty matchup for the Gunners. However this is exactly the sort of game in which Arsene Wenger’s men come unstuck, and Burnley are historically very strong at home. The Clarets have conceded just nine times this season, and four of their six clean sheets have come at Turf Moor. Sean Dyche’s men are the perfect bogey team, so if you have other options it may be best to roll them out ahead of Arsenal’s back line.

Bonus Tips

This gameweek brings with it another Friday Night Football fixture, meaning that you line-up needs to be set earlier than usual. Don’t be the sucker who forgets.

Many of the usual cheap options face tough matchups this week, so you may have to take a few risks on teams that have been inconsistent at best. Be sensible, play the matchups, and for the love of god don’t start any Huddersfield defenders.


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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