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The Promoted: Back Sheffield United at home

The Scout 30 May 2019
Chris Basham, Jack O'Connell, Sheffield United

The Scout says Blades' attack-minded defenders could make for smart 2019/20 rotation selections

The Scout looks at the Fantasy Premier League prospects of the three promoted sides.

Sheffield United: Defence

Sheffield United’s key defenders could be handy rotation options for FPL managers.

The Blades arrive in the Premier League having kept 21 clean sheets, the most in the Championship. 

And their total of just 41 goals conceded in 46 matches was the joint-best record in the division. 

Home bankers

It is their home form that is particularly impressive when compared with the other promoted teams.

Chris Wilder's men claimed 12 clean sheets in home matches, just one fewer than the combined 13 of champions Norwich City and playoff winners Aston Villa.

This suggests that, of the three promoted sides, it is Sheffield United who could provide the most reliable cut-price rotation picks.

By starting their players for favourable home matches, Fantasy managers can get the best out of the Blades’ key performers at the back.

Forward-thinking defenders

Wilder’s tactics and 3-4-1-2 formation also raises the attacking potential of their defenders.

Enda Stevens (£5.0m) flourished as a wing-back for the Championship runners-up this season.

The left-sided defender was involved in 10 goals, scoring four and assisting six.

Centre-backs Jack O'Connell (£4.5m) and Chris Basham (£4.5m) are also encouraged to push forward in attack.

O’Connell (pictured top right) supplied three goals and three assists and is a big threat at set-pieces.

Basham (top left) recorded four goals and an assist.

Bonus boost

Both O'Connell and Basham better Stevens for Clearances, Blocks and Interceptions (CBI).

This is a key factor in the Bonus Points System (BPS), which determines the bonus points in a match.

This means that when they earn a clean sheet, O’Connell and Basham's chances of scoring additional points are boosted.

Sheff Utd's most attacking defenders
2018/19 Goals Assists CBI Mins/CBI
Stevens 4 6 197 20.4
O'Connell 3 3 278 13.2
Basham 4 1 228 14.9

The appeal of the Blades' defenders is also raised by the uncertainty over their goalkeeper for next season.

Dean Henderson was a standout performer on loan in 2018/19 but has returned to his parent club Manchester United.

Although Henderson has been strongly linked with a move back to Bramall Lane, it is Sheffield United's defenders who managers should consider in 2019/20.

While Stevens' role as a wing-back may give him the edge for attacking returns, both O'Connell and Basham offer big all-round potential when Sheffield United have favourable home fixtures.  

Also in this series

Part 1: Krul can match Etheridge returns
Part 2: Pukki can be next season's Jimenez
Part 4: Clinical Sharp to copy Murray
Part 5: Chester leads Villa's set-piece threat
Part 6: Villa midfield can offer value

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