The 2019/20 Premier League season kicks off this weekend and with Liverpool hosting Norwich City on Friday night you’ll need to get your team in before 18:45 GMT – an hour before the game kicks off.
Defenders are vital to a successful fantasy football team, particularly the bargain players that prove to be great value for money. Here are five defenders you should strongly consider for the upcoming season:
Oleksandr Zinchenko (5.5)
Only Liverpool kept more clean sheets than Manchester City last season but most defenders from both of these teams are valued at 6.0 or above. I don’t like to spend more than 5.5 on a defender unless it’s exceptional circumstances. This makes Oleksandr Zinchenko a good choice. Benjamin Mendy is starting another season on the injury table and Fabian Delph has been moved on. So unless Angelino goes straight into the starting lineup, the Ukrainian should be Pep Guardiola’s starter at the beginning of the season.
Zinchenko is actually a winger by nature and bombed forward from left-back when he started the final few months of last season. Not only does he offer you a high chance of getting clean sheet points for your team, but with the likes of Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus to aim for in the box you can expect a couple of assists and maybe the odd goal too.
Yerry Mina (5.5)
Everton defence is a bit of a gamble because they’re not cheap. But Marco Silva’s side are pushing for a top six finish this season and finished the previous campaign very well. Their defence ended the season with five consecutive clean sheets at Goodison Park. Lucas Digne is a popular choice because the left-back whips crosses into the box and takes direct free kicks. However, if you cannot afford the Frenchman at 6.0 then Yerry Mina should be considered.
The Colombian international scored three goals from three headers at the 2018 World Cup and is s a big threat from set pieces. With the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lucas Digne putting crosses into the box then Mina should prove a good choice over the course of the season. The Toffees could be looking for several clean sheets in their opening six fixtures too.
Caglar Soyuncu (4.5)
Leicester City sold Harry Maguire to Manchester United yesterday and only have a couple days left to find a replacement for the England international. Brighton & Hove Albion’s Lewis Dunk is being linked. Should they sign Dunk then I’d recommend putting him in your team as he is 4.5 and a goalscoring threat from attacking set pieces.
Currently though, Turkish defender Caglar Soyuncu is the best bet for a Leicester defender. He’s a lot cheaper than regulars Ben Chilwell, Ricardo Pereira and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. If he is indeed Brendan Rodgers’ first choice to partner Jonny Evans in the middle of the back four then you can expect his value to go up in the opening weeks of the season.
Harry Maguire (5.5)
Harry Maguire has just completed his record transfer to Manchester United to improve their defence. He joins Aaron Wan-Bissaka in what will be a new look defence for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
The England international is an excellent defender and leader and is more than capable of fixing the Red Devils’ defence. At 5.5 I think this is good value for a top six side. Maguire will start every week, and as he’s proven for Leicester City and the Three Lions over the past 24 months, he’s a great threat from attacking set pieces too.
John Lundstram (4.0)
A bit of a wildcard here, but Sheffield United have one of the better defences among the relegation candidates with Chris Wilder being very organised. They can pick up clean sheets versus the bottom half sides and with their starting players around 4.0 to 4.5 they make for great players to put on your bench in gameweeks when they’re facing the top six as they don’t take up much of your budget.
John Lundstram is listed as a 4.0 defender on the official Premier League fantasy football but actually plays in midfield. He’s been playing in pre-season but is by no means a dead cert to start every week. However, if you’re looking for a 4.0 defender don’t look any further than Lundstram because if he plays in midfield there’s a good chance he can pick up the odd goal and assist.