FPL: Which Chelsea defenders to pick – Green Fixtures
With the swing in fixtures from Game week 7 for Chelsea, picking up players from the team has become very obvious, and mandatory to an extent. Ever since the arrival of German tactician Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea has become the best defence in the league and Europe. Notably, Chelsea has registered 24 clean sheets in these 38 matches that Tuchel has managed. They have also conceded just 19 goals in this duration. Until earlier this month, Chelsea had kept more clean sheets (15) than they have conceded goals (14) in the Premier League under Tuchel. This season, Chelsea has conceded just 2 goals in the 6 matches (a goal each against Manchester City and Liverpool) and has kept 4 clean sheets in the process.
Despite losing two matches in a row to Manchester City and Juventus, it is abundantly clear that owning a Chelsea defender in the run of fixtures is absolutely crucial. In this article, we aim to discuss that best FPL options from the Chelsea defence.
1. Antonio Rudiger: £5.7m
What an upswing this man has seen in the last 12 months. From being on the brink of looking beyond Chelsea having been frozen out of the team by Frank Lampard, to being the unmovable weapon at LCB under Tuchel.
Rudiger has played every minute of the Premier League this season under Tuchel having contributed to the 4 clean sheets Chelsea have kept. He had also gifted his FPL owners with a goal against Tottenham, returning an impressive total of 34 points in 6 gameweeks, averaging just less than 6 points per week.
With the certainty of playing almost every match, with number of clean sheets that the Chelsea team will give, Rudiger becomes an almost essential player to have at a still affordable price of £5.7m.
2. Andreas Christensen: £5.0m
If anyone else has turned fortunes apart from Rudiger, it has to be Andreas Christensen. The journey from a bright prospect that was a good rotational option to being the most tactically astute defender for Club and Country has been completed.
Having started all but one game in the League and Europe, Christensen has truly shown under Thomas Tuchel. The manager has recognized his abilities to provide stability and calmness in defence with his superior positioning and passing skills.
The reason why Andreas Christensen is #2 on our list is not just limited to the fact that he has been performing at consistently high standards for the Manager. But that fact added with –
- the reality that Thiago Silva is only getting older, with his minutes being managed between the League and Europe,
- the pricing of Andreas Christensen at just £5.0m, really provides a very easy and stable entry into the Chelsea defence.
- the only match in the league that Christensen did not start was followed by an International break whereby he played 3 full matches in 6 days.
3. Reece James: £5.6m (Injured)
The young academy graduate is injured at the time of publishing this piece, however, Reece has shown and proven his abilities beyond reasonable doubt. Bombing runs down the right flank with dangerous and accurate crossing, coupled with Grade-A solidity at the back at made Reece James into a very complete player.
Bar the occasional benching owing to rotation and fixture congestions, James is a very explosive option in the Chelsea back line, and still at a seemingly achievable price of £5.6m. That price range for a Chelsea defender that has scored a goal, assisted 2 other, and won 3 further bonus points, all within the red card and injury laden 188 minutes is seemingly unbelievable.
With the International Break starting right after GW7, managers not on a wildcard currently, or those managers looking to wildcard in GW8 can surely consider Reece James as an option if he returns to full fitness after the 2 week break.
4. Cesar Azpilicueta: £6m
Want to stay at peace not worrying about the starting line-ups every weekend?
Want to have guaranteed clean sheets?
Want to have that little extra attacking edge over the “boring” option Rudiger?
Get Cesar Azpilicueta.
Yes, the Chelsea captain may be a little pricey at £6m, but that price is surely not unreasonable. Versatile enough to play both at RCB and RWB, Azpilicueta is as guaranteed to start in the Chelsea line-up as anyone else. Furthermore, the tactical outplay of Tuchel pushes Azpilicueta from RCB to CM kind of positions during attacking patterns. That drift into the midfield has seen Azpilicueta provide quite a few assists over the years along with a beautiful one to Lukaku in the Champions League opener.
With Reece James out injured, there is a high probability that Azpilicueta starts out wide at the right wing back role for Chelsea. Given his passing ability, it will not be a surprise if he pops up an assists too.
5. Marcos Alonso: £5.9m
Marcos Alonso is the toughest call in the entire of Chelsea defence. Blessed with a technique and left foot of a striker and given the licence to stay forward by Tuchel, Alonso is a blessing as a defender in FPL.
However, the reason why such a defender with high ceiling is listed at #5 in our Chelsea list is due to multiple factors –
- Ben Chilwell. He has been surprisingly and suspiciously out of the starting XI. Earlier in the season, it was blamed on lack of match fitness. However, it is not clear as to why Chilwell is so far behind in Alonso in the line-up. After two losses in two, whereby Alonso started both matches, Tuchel may switch to Chilwell tomorrow and never bench him again, with nobody being shocked for the same. Since it will forever be a 50-50 with him, Alonso’s play time shall always be a concern.
- Price. Alonso started the season at £5.5m and was incredibly under-priced at that level. However, with the form he was in, Alonso has risen to £5.9m. With that, he is almost the most priced Chelsea defender. If a manager pays the high premium, they ought to attain the most points and certainty.
6. Thiago Silva: £5.4m
A class defender on the pitch and a classy person off it. Sadly, age is catching up with Silva and despite his peak defensive acumen, the body may not be able to cope with the demands of the Premier League. Chelsea is a team that will look to win all competitions it participates in and therefore, heavy rotation can be expected with Silva being a little low in the pecking order at CB.
It is no doubt that Silva is still a useful asset for Chelsea and will receive a good amount of game time. Therefore, the day there is any indication that Silva uncompromisingly forms the part of first XI, and then he becomes an instant choice in FPL.
7. Ben Chilwell: £5.6m
As discussed above, sadly Ben Chilwell has been completely out of favour in the current Chelsea XI. He had filed in promising performances last year, including the Champions League final win over the arch rivals Manchester City. However, after a Euro with no starts, Ben Chilwell faced an uphill battle towards full fitness.
Now, 2 months into the season, Chilwell is yet to start a game in the League or Europe. Signs are not positive either with an average performance in the Domestic Cup. However, with Tuchel and the quality Chilwell can offer, he cannot be ruled out completely ever. And therefore, like Silva, any signs showing him to be the preferred person at LWB will make him an instant FPL asset.
With that, we can conclude that Antonio Rudiger is the prime option from the Chelsea defence. Despite a low ceiling, Rudiger offers a brilliant opportunity to enter the Chelsea defence and get consistent and assured Clean Sheet points.
To double up, the ideal option stands out with Andreas Christensen, who is cheap and in form.
Other double up options are primarily Azpiculeta and Alonso. However, in our opinion, Azpiculeta should be the pick as he is almost the same price, but much more assured to be in the starting lineup for the next few months.
Reece James is an explosive option, but can only be opted for depending on the injury situation. Thiago Silva and Chilwell can only be opted for if there is a change in circumstances.