24 Sept.

GW9: Differential Defence

With many managers having played their Wildcard over the international break, we look at differential defensive players with fixtures on their side. Using the Fixture Planner tool, we look at the teams who have the best defensive difficulty rating over the next six Gameweeks and choose one defensive option per team – owned by less than 5% of managers – who could cement a spot in your Wildcard team. For a more general overview of defensive options, check out our Defender Points Projections article.

Fixtures (GW9 - GW14)

best def fixtures gw9 - gw14

Leicester, Fulham, Palace, West Ham and Brentford have the best defensive fixtures in the next 6 GWs - taken from Fixture Planner

As expected, the teams which have endured the toughest start to the season are finally entering a good period of fixtures (and vice versa). They are:

Leicester – Timothy Castagne (1.1%)

Top of the table for defensive fixtures is Leicester, who have a great run all the way to Gameweek 14 when they play Manchester City. This is a shame because Leicester’s defensive form has been abysmal. They are one of only two teams to fail to keep a clean sheet this season (the other is Southampton), they have conceded 22 goals and are ranked 3rd from bottom in terms of Expected Goals Conceded (xGC).

It is difficult, therefore, to justify any defensive asset on the basis of clean sheet potential. However, the inclusion of Timothy Castagne (£4.4m) is probably justifiable based on attacking potential. Just £0.1m dearer than fellow full-back James Justin (£4.3m), Castagne is getting into slightly more advanced positions, and has a goal and assist to his name already. If he can keep the attacking returns coming just as Leicester tighten up at the back, we could have a high value asset on our hands.

castagne vs justin average position

Castagne's average position is higher up the pitch than his counterpart James Justin - taken from Opta Player Heatmaps